The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only . . . (John 1:14)
For many people, the first few days following Christmas are spent taking all the gifts we don’t really want back to the stores. We breathe a sigh of relief that another Christmas day has come and gone . . . even though we feel a bit guilty for feeling this way. Soon we will begin packing up our Christmas decorations and putting them away, and, in some strange way, we may sense that we are setting aside the real Reason for the season until next year.
How do we keep this from happening? It’s simple, really; we must remember that the days after Christmas are just as important as Christmas.
A little more than 2000 years ago, Jesus came into this world as a baby on that first Christmas Day. He lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death, and rose supernaturally from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father. But when He ascended into heaven, He promised to send to us His Holy Spirit. All who claim the name of Christ now have the presence of Jesus in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Millions celebrated Christmas without any thought about the Christ, but for the believer Christmas is just the beginning . . . a beginning that has no end.
Our Lord Jesus came the first time (First Advent) as a suffering Servant. He accomplished His mission and paved the way for our eternal life. But that is not the end of the story! He is coming back as the conquering King, and then every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. At that time, He will consummate His Kingdom of the new heavens and the new earth, the place where we will live with Jesus and all His people forever and ever.
Consider this truth as you are packing up your decorations this year: The meaning and message of Christmas lasts throughout the entire year. We do indeed put away our lights and decorations, but we never put away our Divine Savior. Jesus is available to you every moment of every hour of every day, and He will meet you in your deepest place of need over and over again. He is hope for the hopeless, rest for the weary, healing for the hurting, and a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Remember, whatever you end up going through this new year, you will never go through it alone. When John said, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,” he was making it clear that what he saw was not something you could pack away. The glory of Jesus Christ was ever before John. May this be our truth every day until we stand before Jesus on the other side of the grave.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!