The hectic rush toward Christmas Day has ended. The tree looks forlorn without presents stacked beneath its limbs. Guests have returned to their homes, and the house seems empty. Has your Christmas spirit taken a nose dive?
Research indicates that many people experience post-holiday depression in early January. For Christians, though, the fact of Christ’s birth should propel us into the new year with hearts full of joy and hope. After all, the angel who visited the shepherds on the Judean hillside said the news of Jesus’s birth would generate “great joy” (Luke 2:10 NIV). And indeed, when the shepherds had seen the newborn Messiah they were filled with joy, “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen” (2:20).
So how can we walk into the new year with this attitude?
We do what Mary did after the shepherds’ visit. Luke 2:19 says that she “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” To treasure is to “preserve a thing from perishing or being lost.”  First, Mary kept the wonder of Christmas alive in her heart by safeguarding all she had learned and experienced during those miraculous days.
Second, she regularly reflected on those experiences and what they’d taught her about God. To ponder is to “think or consider—especially quietly, soberly, and deeply.” We too can set aside time to contemplate who God is and all he has done for us. We can allow the glorious Christmas truths to germinate in our soul so the Holy Spirit can produce the fruit that will energize us each day—joy, peace, love, goodness, and faithfulness (Galatians 5:22-23). We can keep the life-giving message of Immanuel—God with us—in the forefront of our minds to guard against Satan’s lie that we must fight our own battles and establish our own worth.
Lord, help us walk into the new year with joy. Give us the willpower to follow Mary’s example and ponder the wonder of Christmas daily. Enable us to rejoice in all you have done for us in the past and all you desire to do in us and through us in 2018. Amen.
Take the Next Step:
Read Romans 12. Ponder the ways that you can be a “living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” this year. Paul gives many practical ways to live out this teaching in verses 3-21.
For more inspiration and encouragement visit Denise Loock at http://www.digdeeperdevotions.com
 “G4933 – syntēreō – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 25 Nov, 2017. https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4933&t=KJV