After Christmas

Christmas Changes Your Past and Promises Your Future.

“When the angels had gone away into Heaven.” Luke 2:15 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “After Christmas.”

Waiting for Christmas can seem interminable for children, as well as ourselves. For adults, each day grows more and more busy with preparations until the awaited day arrives. The family and friends gather; the dinner is served and enjoyed; the kitchen and plates are cleaned up, family gifts are shared, and carols sung. But then what?

As a mere calendar event, Christmas inevitably concludes. As a heart experience, Christmas is forever. I would suggest that how you enter the Christmas holidays is not as personally impactful as how you continue and coordinate the celebration into daily life. Consider Joseph and Mary’s experience of the angels’ visit and startling announcement. Obviously, Joseph and Mary could never be the same as before that miraculous night in Bethlehem’s stable.

But the initial aftermath was not as idyllic as you might assume it should have been. Disruption appeared to be their new normal. Christmas does not promise that everything will always be pretty and peaceful, or that it will remain so after Christmas.

In Luke’s narrative of the Christmas angels singing to shepherds on a Judean hillside, there came the inevitable moment the Bible describes this way, “When the angels had left them and gone into Heaven.” Predictably, angels return to Heaven and people return to everyday life. After seeking the Child of which the Angels sang,“The shepherds returned [to their flocks], glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.” Luke 2:15-16 NKJV.

Matthew writes of a similar experience, of Kings coming from afar to see the child of promise. Like the shepherds, “They departed to their own country another way.” Matthew 2:12 NKJV. I know those words merely describe the different geography of their journey home, but I cannot avoid the application that life is never meant to be quite the same after you have seen and worshiped the Christ. Read Matthew 2:1-12.

Life returns to normal or unfolds in ways you could not foresee. An angel came again to Joseph in a dream, warning of Herod’s evil determination to destroy the young Messiah. The Angel warned Joseph and Mary, “Flee to Egypt and stay there until I bring you word . . when Joseph arose, he took the young child and his mother and departed for Egypt. And was there until the death of Herod.” Read Matthew 2:13-23 NKJV.

People can choose to be transformed by such moments of Heavenly encounter or choose to remain unchanged. Angels are divine visitors. This world is not the Angels’ home. Inevitably, Angels return to Heaven, while our lives continue to be lived here. Families must be provided for. Responsibilities must be fulfilled. Work awaits to be done. And even more importantly, an unbelievable story must be told.

You cannot bow at Christmas with a true heart of worship and remain as you were. Christmas holds the power to change routines, shift priorities, adjust values, and transform lives forever. Ultimately, the season and celebration of Christmas will pass, but meanwhile the Savior can and will change your life everlastingly, if you will allow.

Christmas is about so much more than the pageantry of a manger, or a night sky filled with an angel chorus, or the shepherds, or Eastern kings from afar, or a young couple submitting themselves to a Sovereign God. Christmas is truly and only about the Savior who changes lives now, and for eternity. Paul summed it up well, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God.” Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. When you embrace the true Christmas, you embrace life abundant now, and eternal forever.

Today, I pray for you to invite Jesus into every day and moment of your life.

Christian Communications 2018

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