Today is December 26th. It’s the day after Christmas. Just like that, Christmas day is over. I wonder what many people feel today. Is the holiday ‘buzz’ gone? Is there a longing to ‘relive’ yesterday, to do it all again? To see those smiling, happy, surprised faces? Is there newfound remorse over spending so much money? Is there a feeling of relief now that it’s over?
If so, our hearts should be redirected to the reason for Christmas. It is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which, as John Piper points out in his advent devotional book, “Good News of Great Joy”, is an indictment against mankind. Christ was born because we needed a Savior. We needed to be saved. We need to be saved. So the fact that there is a birth to celebrate at all is not something to take lightly. As much as I enjoy giving my husband gifts, as much as I love seeing his handsome, smiling face light up with joy upon seeing his gifts, there is a far greater Gift at hand. There is a far greater reason that we celebrate what we celebrate yesterday, a reason that we should celebrate every day!
We celebrate the birth of Christ because God was merciful and gracious the day when Christ was conceived. The day that the angel came to Mary and told her about the baby that was to be born through her, this was a day dripping with the sweetness of abundant grace and mercy. God was merciful and gracious when this was planned in eternity past that there would be a Savior for sinful men who couldn’t appease God on their own. This truth doesn’t change because it is no longer Christmas day. This truth still reigns. This truth still exists — yesterday, today, and forevermore! The truth that God sent Jesus into the world to be born as a babe, cloaked in human flesh, to live the sinless & perfect life that we should have lived, but to die the gruesome death we deserve to die… This truth is still Truth! The truth that Jesus absorbed all of God’s wrath for those that place their faith in Christ – it still stands! The truth that God extends mercy to us through Jesus is still the same truth that has always been. This is the greatest Gift ever given – salvation through Jesus Christ, given by God to humanity. However, it’s akin to our gift giving – it’s one given that must be received and accepted. We receive the Gift of salvation by turning from our sinful ways and placing our full faith in Jesus. What a Gift!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16, 17 ESV)
So, yes, today is December 26th. It’s the day after Christmas. Just like that, Christmas day is over. However the reason for Christmas is not. Jesus is alive!