Stumbling through the post-Christmas blues

It finally happened. We’ve been anticipating Christmas all year long, and it arrived.

The Letdown

After months of waiting, plans and parties, it’s over. Family gatherings and big Christmas feasts have left us tired and overstuffed. The excitement of the season has passed. All that’s left after Christmas is out-of-season decorations, crumpled up wrapping paper, and a few gifts we wanted (but didn’t really need).

The day after a big event often feels like a letdown. Something has come and gone. It feels like there’s a gaping emptiness where the increasing hype of Christmas once dwelled.

On the first Christmas, Mary and Joseph saw God’s Son enter the world as a human child. They rejoiced at God’s gift, but the celebration didn’t stop there. Jesus didn’t stay a baby in a manger. He didn’t remain in Bethlehem and expect all people to come to visit Him. The Christmas story isn’t just about a baby born in a small Israeli town. The story is much bigger than that.

The Bigger Story

Jesus’ birth was never meant to stay the focus. The manger was always meant to point to the cross.

Jesus grew up, became a man, and worked to bring God’s kingdom to earth. As Jesus obeyed God the Father, He went to love and serve people. He surrendered Himself to execution on the cross, in our place, to rescue us from our sins and hopelessness. And He resurrected to prove His power and give us new life by the Holy Spirit living in us.

Jesus’ birth was never meant to stay the focus. The manger was always meant to point to the cross.

We should never be so wrapped up in the present that we miss the big picture. Christmas is a gift: a time of celebration, joy, and remembering how God humbly became a human. But to remain in a winter wonderland, continuous nativity scene sort of mentality doesn’t do justice to the reality of what else God is doing both here and now, and in the big scheme of things.

The Good News For Us

God sent hope to humankind by sending Jesus. He’s not a one-time helper or a once-a-year figure to pay attention to; Jesus loves walking with us every moment, as we experience more of His truth and His grace.

We may have had an amazing Christmas season, but let’s not live in the past. Keep moving forward by following Jesus, who brings hope and joy in amazing new ways all the time. 

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