I don’t know how you feel in the days after Christmas. But isn’t a shame that having looked forward to Christmas for so long, it’s over in a day. It does not take long for the magic of Christmas to turn into the reality of the day after. The last carol has been sung, or soon will be sung. Christmas gifts are fast becoming January’s bills. Soon the decorations will be stored in boxes and the Christmas tree will be taken to the curb.
The last thing to go will be the outdoor lights. I leave them up as long as Lynn will let me. I think the record is March. Of course, I can’t understand why we don’t save the hassle and leave them up till next year, but part of my reticence is that I love the light shining in the darkness. The day after Christmas there will still be darkness and we will still need light.
We need the light of hope for the darkness of difficulty. Lynn and I just spent the morning in the emergency room with our son Jake. He’s okay, but who wants to spend 2.5 hours in the ER. I have another friend who has been in the hospital ever since Christmas Day; a pastor I know lost his father and there are two couples I know who are going through deep struggles in their marriage. We need the light of hope.
We need the light of generosity for the darkness of selfishness. In his book, “Grace Awakening” Chuck Swindoll gives his theory as to what it is about the spirit of Christmas that often irresistibly wraps us in it’s embrace. Christmas scratches the itch of grace deep within us. It provides us an opportunity to get out of ourselves and do something tangible for someone else with no thought of getting paid back. It gives us a chance to counteract that selfish streak we all hate in ourselves. Every notice how people just like hanging out around generous people. It’s not just because we hope to get something…it’s because we are drawn to the light!
We need the light of wonder in the darkness of technological innovation. No I’m not against technological innovation! But when technology becomes the source of our wonder it leads to darkness. Whether we find wonder in the latest vine video or instagram picture or the next iwonder exploding on the scene, when we lose the wonder that comes from relationships and worship and real life experience, life gets dark.
What can you do in 2014 to receive and reflect the light of hope, generosity and wonder? Perhaps rather than a holiday that is over and done once a year, Christmas could become a holy-day that goes viral to affect every other day of the year.