It is December 26... the day after Christmas. The day after giving. The day after 'the birth of Jesus.' The day after joy, peace, love, and goodwill toward men. The day after family warmth. The day after Santa Claus. After weeks and months of anticipation, preparation, and celebration the holiday comes to an abrupt halt.
Think about it. For the last 30 days, you heard about Santa probably dozens of times a day in songs, conversations, and decorations. But this may be the only time you think about Santa Claus until November or December 2016. Just as magically as he showed up on Christmas Eve, he disappears on December 26. He becomes no part of our life... except for keeping track of our misdeeds.
This is natural. Santa Claus is a character of fantasy, even if he is based on an actual doer of good deeds. So the fact that he becomes insignificant 24 hours after he is most significant is to be expected. It actually helps the myth. But God help us if we put Christ away with the same ease with which we put away our Christmas tree. May we never lose Christ like we lose our toys toys over the course of the winter. Oh that family is as important on January 25th as it is on December 25th. May our joy, peace, love, and goodwill grow stronger into the Spring of 2016. Let us not be less giving next summer than we were on that special day in December.
I fear that we have mixed the myth with the truth for so long, we easily set aside the truth with the myth. But Jesus is the reason for every season. He didn't stay in the manger all year, every year. Just as He grew as a man, He should also grow in our hearts and habits. A friend this morning posted that there was just enough snow to give his community a white Christmas, but now it is gone as quickly as it came. Is that how we want our Jesus? Enough to give us a feeling of peace on earth, but not enough to enforce that peace in our daily life?
The apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians about the importance of growing in the truth of the Gospel, and not simply recognizing them as a tradition.
I pray that [the Father] may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us-- to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21)
Family, giving, peace, joy, love, and celebration are all good parts of Christmas. Santa? Not so much. He is a distraction, and tends to minimize the greatest story ever told. Put away the decorations. Throw away the trash. Move on to the new year. But do not put away Christ. He does not fade, but continues to bring every blessing that accompanies transformation.
Carry Christ in you to the next season of holy celebration.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.