Christmas Joy–Or Is It?

Photo Credit: julieamarxhausen.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: julieamarxhausen.wordpress.com

Joy to the world!  The Christmas season has come.  If you are anything like me, this may be a season in which you may not feel like jumping for joy.  Your joyless feet may be firmly planted on the ground.  Could it be that you are inclined to remember some questionable Christmases from your past, loved ones who are gone, and finances that don’t quite add up to the hype of holiday gift-buying expectations?   At times I may want to do more during this season than I am financially able.  This can cause bitterness to enter my heart and crowd out the joy I so want to feel.  Did you know that bitterness and rebellion may be intertwined in Christmas more than you may know?   Let me share a little story with you:
It  started like any other morning in my classroom of zealous 5 and 6 year-olds.  I was so looking forward to introducing my students to one of my favorite people in the Bible with the purpose of ushering the reason for Christmas to them.  The person was Mary, the loving mother of the Savior of the World, Jesus the Christ.
My introduction to this courageous and amazing woman, who found favor with God, was to share with my students that many young women of that time in history were named “Mary”.  The point that I was intent on making revolved around the fact that although the name was extremely popular, God looked beyond the ordinary name and found the heart of an extraordinary young woman.  She was chosen to be the enduring and long suffering mother of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
It was then that my co-teacher interrupted my Bible lesson to share an odd story. “I know of a young girl whose was named Mary.  Her father legally changed her name because he found out that the name, Mary, has a bad meaning!”  I was stunned.  I did not recall the meaning of the name Mary. “What does the name mean?”, I asked. “I am not really sure”,  she said, “but he said the name means something pretty awful!”  The co-teacher continued, “The father changed his daughter’s name from Mary to Joy!” Ten anxious faces were looking at me and there I stood at a loss for words! I was beginning to think that the biblical point in which I was trying to convey was lost with this newly-contributed information. I would research the meaning of the name later, but in the meantime it was more important that the children receive Mary as the holy and awesome woman that she is known to be.
Later that day, subsequently after a bit of research, I found out that the name Mary means “rebellion” and “bitterness”.  Why would God choose a mother whose name has a negative connotation for His Son?  Pondering this question for days, I finally believe that God has spoken to my heart on this matter.
No matter what the meaning of your name is, God makes the final choice of who is usable for His great purpose.  A negative meaning of a name or past mistakes does not blind the eyes of God.  Despite the meaning of her name, Mary had a blessing inside of her that would one day be birthed…the amazing blessing was the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you are a woman of God,  you too have a blessing inside of you.  God is waiting for you to give birth to it.  Just like Mary, you could change the world forever with what God has placed inside of you!  Think about it!!  As you allow God’s favor to permeate your life, you may see God change your name  from bitterness to joy!  Mary -oops – Merry Christmas and Joy to the World!!
Cindy Wiliamson Woolard is a wife, mother and teacher to the sweetest bunch of 5 & 6 year olds.  Her joyous heart is infectious to all who know her.
+First Look: Read Luke 1:28-30
+Through The Looking Glass: Put yourself in Mary’s shoes. How would you have felt when God called you to conceive the Messiah?  What has God placed in you that He is waiting to birth?
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About thelookingglassbykathy

A woman after God's own heart who challenges others to be the same through Biblical encouragement and challenges.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Issues of the Heart and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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