WHAT TO DO AFTER CHRISTMAS
Now that Christmas Day has come and gone, it is fitting to consider: Is Christmas merely a passing holiday that flits into and out of our lives every 365 days? Or does it leave any kind of lasting impact upon us?
If Christmas is merely a passing holiday that fills a couple weeks of our lives in a state of panic each year, that leaves us feeling pressured and burdened to do too many things in too short a time, that leaves us in debt and overweight when it is over, I question why we continue to subject ourselves to it each year.
But if the message of Christmas is true—that God so loves the world that He became one of us in a manger to live among us, revealing God’s love and truth to us, then dying for us to overcome sin and guilt and death—then we should hope and expect Christmas to change our lives for the good!
The Civil Rights leader, Howard Thurman, who greatly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr., reminds us that the true honoring of Christmas extends far beyond the festivities of December 24 and 25. He writes:
When the song of the angels is silent
When the star in the sky is gone
When the kings and princes are home
When the shepherds are again tending their sheep
When the manger is darkened and still
The work of Christmas begins…
To find the lost
To heal the broken
To feed the hungry
To rebuild the nations
To bring peace among people
To befriend the lonely
To release the prisoner
To make music in the heart.
If the One who was born in Bethlehem has been born in our hearts, we should expect His love and goodness to live out of us; we should expect that the love and joy and hope and good He brought to the world when He walked the roads of Judea to come to others through us now. If Christmas is more than just a holiday, then may the reality of Jesus’ birth—the “work of Christmas”—live on in us and through us.