Thanks be to God for the blessings of family time this Christmas! What a joy it was to spend Christmas morning with my fabulous parents and awesome mother in law, to gather around the table for a delicious brunch, and later through the power of technology, celebrate a long distance gift giving session with my son and his beloved! So incredibly thankful for these precious moments! I hope your time with family and friends was a joy filled time of sharing and celebrating!
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6-7 – KJV
How are you this morning, my friend? Are you worn out and weary, tired of the shopping, baking, and all the holiday merry making? Does your house feel like it’s been trampled by a flash mob? Are you still finding crumpled up wrapping paper stuck in the crevices of your couch?
It’s the Monday after Christmas, and the holiday clean up begins. Gone are the cheery salutations, finished are the extended family visitations. The carefully wrapped boxes have been discarded. The feast has become a pile of leftovers in the fridge.
“Greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through…”**
Yes, I’m channeling Karen Carpenter this morning. I woke up with the lyrics of one of my favorite holiday songs, “Merry Christmas,Darling,” playing in my head.
“The Christmas rush is through…” Christmas is over, done, finished.
“But I still have one wish to make, a special one for you…”
I wish you “Merry Christmas.” Not from one of those talking Santa figurines in the department store aisle, trying to cajole you into buying that one more gift. Not as a farewell thrown over the shoulder when leaving a restaurant after a December meal. Not as a Line on a Frosty the Snowman greeting card.
No, my wish comes from a very different setting, the volume of my words set not on high, but in a whisper. There is no holly, no candy canes, no red ribboned garland. Straw alone covers the earthen floor. The twinkling lights of the Christmas tree are absent. Starlight casts a steady glow on the room instead. No holiday tunes crank through the room, only the sweet lullaby of a young mother cradling her newborn baby. A relieved father stands a short distance away, his sole companions, the ox and lamb in the nearby stalls. No well Dressed partygoers arrive at the door, only simple shepherds following angelic instructions.
“And I wish you Merry Christmas…”
Not from the mayhem of a package opening session on Christmas morning, but from the contented calm of a manger. I wish you Merry Christmas because Christmas is not over. It begins anew with the dawn of each new day.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV).
On a dark chilly night long ago, God gave us a gift. Not a one and done package wrapped in tissue paper, but a tiny infant wrapped in swaddling clothes. God’s gift is a gift that keeps on giving, growing from a baby in a manger to a Savior on a cross.
On this post-Christmas Monday morning, will you let go of the trappings of our contemporary celebrations and embrace the simplicity of the miracle in a manger? Will you welcome the Coming of the Christ child and offer him a room in the stable of your soul? Will you open the gift God has tagged specifically for you? Will you let it be the gift that keeps on giving, day after day, all year long? Will you keep on believing and receiving?
If the answer is “Yes!”, then Christmas isn’t over.
“So I wish you Merry Christmas, Happy New Year too…”
Yes…I’ve just one wish to give. I pray our Lord’s with you.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:13-14 – KJV
Thank You, Jesus!
Thank You, Jesus, for the Hope.
Thank You, Jesus, for the Joy.
Thank You, Jesus, for the Peace.
Thank You, Jesus, for Your Love that brings me life.
You are my King, and I owe You everything.
And all God’s people said,
**From the Lyrics “Merry Christmas, Darling” by The Carpenters