The Afterglow of Christmas

after christmasIs it just me or does Christmas day bring a cosmic let down? It seems we spend weeks planning, preparing, running around getting ready for Christmas. Hours picking out gifts and wrapping them just so. We bake and we cook, striving to somehow make this the best Christmas ever.

Then Christmas arrives, boxes are torn into in minutes, food that took hours to prepare is eaten in no time and the let down settles in.

Each year, it seems we experience this to some degree and we wonder why do we go through all the trouble? Is it all worth it? What’s missing? More and more I’m convinced it is because we have forgotten the purpose of Christmas and just added the Christmas story to the mix. Somehow we have made it all about us. The focus has become having a “perfect Christmas” instead of the Christ Child.

How different the first Christmas was to all the fanfare involved today. A simple stable, a feeding trough, and a baby – The Light of the World.

Jesus came to give and to serve. He came to bring life. His focus was not on Himself, nor on impressing others. Jesus humbled Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, not considering equality with God something to be grasped (Phi. 2). Jesus came to die! Daily He served and put His own human needs last. Daily He sought to honor and please God.

I’m convinced more and more, the older I get, that Christmas should be a day we not only serve our families and friends. But a day we give and serve the least of these. Jesus said, He had come to seek and to save the lost. He explained to the disciples that it wasn’t the healthy who needed a doctor but the sick.

The greatest fulfillment to be found is in the serving and giving of ourselves. As a New Year dawns, my greatest prayer is that of John, “More of You Jesus and less of Me (Mark 1:7).” I want to live a life of service and love as Jesus loved. I want to truly put the needs of others above myself, serve the lost and be a shining light pointing these to Jesus. Like Paul I long to pour my life out as a drink offering – taking my eyes off of myself, my trials and focusing instead of Christ.

How about you? Have you experienced the let down of Christmas? Are you struggling with what the New Year may hold? I challenge you as the Lord has challenged me to focus my eyes, my mind and my thoughts upon Him. To serve as He served, to love as He loved and to live a life pleasing to Him.

 

 

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One thought on “The Afterglow of Christmas

  1. cartercarroll

    Matt Chandler preached a fantastic sermon last year on this very topic. He used Ecclesiastes 3:11 to point out that we have a longing in our hearts for meaning and purpose. Our Western culture has capitalized off it with the message that our lives stink and the holidays will bring about some resolve. But like you said, they end and we’re left wondering if that’s all there is to it.

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