Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nothing is as over as Christmas when it's over

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:19-20
So, how are you feeling this day after Christmas? Not that it is over, for there is still much to be done. Families are heading home, school vacations are still underway and there may even be more trees to open gifts under. Getting back to what we term as normal or beginning the normal routine is the next step: 1. Clean up;  2. Make room for new and throw out the old – Organizing;  3. Deal with the emotions as we wind down from the hectic schedule and excitement.

The empty boxes, the pretty paper on the floor, the stray tinsel from the tree with which the cat has played and left abandoned on the sofa, the empty cartons of eggnog stuffed into the trash bag. Life has come back to normal, whatever that is, and it means that the diversion of the past few weeks, the frenzy and fuss, the lights and glitter are packed away once again like the star at the top of the tree; taken down and carefully wrapped, padded and protected in its ample box.

There are parts of Christmas we should not just place in a box and put back in the attic until next year.  They can be good all year long. The sorting out of all the Christmas experiences and gifts is a challenge.  What do you carry forward, what do you leave behind?

Maybe that first Christmas WAS something like what we have seen. They had the angels singing, so the air was filled with Christmas music.  They had the shepherds visiting, kind of like local friends dropping by.  And they had the Wise men coming in from out of town.  They did not make it in time for Christmas, but they got there for the same reason!  Following that first Christmas they each left from the scene. It seems like everybody forgot about that Holy Night!  So much so, that we do not even know for sure what day Christ was really born!  In fact, if you think about it, for most everybody, life got back to normal after that first Christmas day!  Everyone except Mary and Joseph

What happened after that First Christmas Day?

  • The Shepherds Go Back with a Message that had heavenly authority.  But we hear nothing about them sharing.  Luke 2:20 records for us, that after the shepherds had visited the baby, THE SHEPHERDS RETURNED!  The shepherds returned to their flocks.  The angels silenced their singing. 
  • The Wise Men Continue Their Reflections – What did all this mean? – The Wise Men made the long trip BACK HOME.
  • Mary and Joseph Begin Their Adjustments –-Their lives were not going back to the way they were before the birth of Jesus. All of us who have had children know, THE BIRTH OF A BABY CHANGES OUR LIVES FOREVER!
When we consider our visit with Christ this Christmas, will we come away more like those who stopped by a few minutes to see the baby and then go on with life as normal? Or will we be more like the parents whose lives are never again the same because of the birth? Are we like the shepherds, and the Wise men, who came to see Jesus, but then returned to their own lives?  Or are we like Mary and Joseph, for whom Christmas was only the beginning of a radical new way of life and thought!  Don’t pack up the good things from this most special of all holidays.  Allow the birth of Jesus to change your life…forever!

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

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