Charles H. Spurgeon
Mary was on a visit when she expressed her joy in the language of this noble song. It would be well if all our social contacts were as useful to our hearts as this visit was to Mary. "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Mary, full of faith, goes to see Elisabeth, who is also full of holy confidence. The two are not long together before their faith mounts to full assurance, and their full assurance bursts forth in a torrent of sacred praise. This praise aroused their slumbering powers. Instead of two ordinary village women, we see before us two prophets and poets upon whom the Spirit of God abundantly rested. When we meet with our kinsfolk and acquaintances, let it be our prayer to God that our communion may be not only pleasant, but profitable. Let it be our prayer that we may not merely pass away time and spend a pleasant hour, but may advance a day's march nearer heaven and acquire greater fitness for our eternal rest.
Observe, this morning, the sacred joy of Mary that you may imitate it. This is a season when all men expect us to be joyous. We compliment each other with the desire that we may have a "Merry Christmas." Some Christians who are a little squeamish do not like the word merry. It is a right good old Saxon word, having the joy of childhood and the mirth of manhood in it. It brings before one's mind the old song of the waits, the midnight peal of bells, the holly, and the blazing log. I love it for its place in that most tender of all parables where it is written that, when the long-lost prodigal returned to his father safe and sound, "They began to be merry." This is the season when we are expected to be happy, and my heart's desire is that in the highest and best sense you who are believers may be "merry." Mary's heart was merry within her. But here was the mark of her joy, it was all holy merriment and was every drop of it sacred mirth. It was not such merrimen ...
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