Christmas is the highpoint on most people’s annual calendar world wide. So much so, that within days some people re-start the count down clock for next years festivities! But for now, the festivities have ended, and soon the decorations will come down. So what happens next?
For those of us who are disciples of Jesus; who truly embrace the meaning and hope of Christmas, this is a celebration which doesn’t have to end when boxing day rolls around. Christ has come, and is still here today! For the Disciple, Christmas should simply be a booster shot for an on-going and joyful celebration of what God has done and continues to do for us and all people!
So, Christmas is over, now what? How do I go on celebrating Christ? How do I use this season as a springboard or a booster shot that will help me to have an increased sense of joy in Christ? How do I make this season a time that I enjoy every moment of, remember with great fondness, and look forward to again and again?
As with everything, I found these answer to those questions in the Bible:
In Matthew 2:1-12 the Magi rejoiced when they saw the star indicating the birth of Christ, the ultimate King of the Jews; then sometime after the ‘Christmas event’ worshipped Him. They intentionally sought Him out, and throughout we are told that their joy was exceedingly great. So, whether it is at Christmas or any other time that we come into the presence of Christ we should approach with expectancy and worship with great joy simply to be in His presence.
In Luke 2:17-19 after the Shepherds had met with the baby Jesus they excitedly went out and told others what they had seen and heard. Mary “pondered these things in her heart”. So we should be going out through out the year telling others of what we have seen and heard, and privately pondering the great joy and hope given to us in our heart.
Now that Christmas is over, let’s do these things:
These things sit squarely with ur overarching theme at St Luke’s for 2020: ‘Making Disciples’.
As I was pondering the post Christmas malaise which often grips our churches until the beginning of Lent (or at least until school goes back!), I am reminded of what was said to the disciples in Acts 1:11: As Jesus was taken up to heaven to be glorified, two men in white robes came to the followers who watched Him go up saying, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!"
So, this year, let’s not just stand around wondering what will come next; let’s see Christmas as our booster shot and our springboard to do what it is that Jesus has sent us to do (Matthew 28:19) let’s GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES!
To His glory alone
Christmas is probably the most anticipated event in our annual calendar. It is a day of great joy and celebration around the world. It’s a time of giving and receiving, of parties and catchups and carols and food; and yet, in the midst of all the trappings and busyness of Christmas, it can be easy to miss why Jesus’ birth is so significant. The key to Christmas lies, not in the details of the shepherds’ visit or the wise men’s journey, but in the identity of the one whom they came to worship. In Jesus, God became ‘flesh’ and ‘made his dwelling among us’ (John 1:14).
Christmas is about Jesus!
Christmas is a story of love and renewal, it’s is a time where we remember the birth of Jesus as we eagerly await His return. Christmas is a reminder that even though we may have turned our back on God, He hasn’t turned His back on us! No matter how far we have wandered, or how broken we feel, Christmas is the reminder that God himself came to dwell among us; to bind up our wounds and to seek and save the lost.
My prayer this Christmas is that there will be a real sense of hope and joy right across our region; and that at Christmas and throughout the coming year every household will come to know the abiding love, joy and peace that is only found through relationship with Jesus Christ.