Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Is Only the Beginning

The Christmas season has come and gone.    Once again families are parting and returning to their own homes.  Houses that were temporarily disassembled in the hubbub are being put back into order.  Christmas trees are stripped bare and discarded and the ornaments and decorations that adorned them for a brief time are placed carefully back in storage until next year.  The magic that filled the minds of the participants begins to fade as each day passes and the year draws to a close.  

How swiftly time passes, especially amongst the excitement and anticipation of Christmas day and all of the revelry and joy it bears.  It is a time of year when we are called to remember the importance of its significance.  And as we pause and reflect upon the meaning behind this special day that has been set aside, we cannot but wish that the joy its message brings would remain forever fresh in our minds with nothing to dispel it.  But as it comes to a close, the world comes crashing back in and the realities of the harshness of life on this earth can often discourage or depress us.  All we have to do is turn on the television set or read the latest headlines.  The brief vacation we enjoyed is over and we must re-enter the lives we have created and the hardships that surround us, whether we like it or not.

Our hearts were opened during the Christmas season.  We shared.  We generously gave.  And we united to partake of the Holy Communion and fellowship with our God.  But it should not end there.  The willingness to worship Him and to delight in the Gift He so graciously bestowed upon all mankind should continue within us each day of the year.  We should return to the world with renewed resolve and a desire to serve Him even more.  The Spirit that enveloped us in a loving embrace as we pondered God’s glorious plan of salvation should not fade as a mist into the air.  And like the ornaments that are packed away in boxes until the next Christmas season, we should not store away the importance of Christ's message, but continue to give and to share the great Gift that was given us.

When Christ was born, it was only the beginning of the story of God’s vast plan of salvation.  The fullness of the Gospel does not end there.  The end of the story has been written and many more chapters are waiting to be read that are equally as exciting and worth waiting for.  And as we watch the events foretold unfold before us, let us wait with the same joyful anticipation and faithfulness we experience when celebrating our Lord’s birth.  There is much work to be done for Him.  Let us carry forward into the New Year the Spirit of joy Who dwells within us and continue His journey to the Cross.  And as we do, may we continue to faithfully serve Him and remain in prayer for the persecuted, the hungry and homeless, the sick, and the despairing souls in need of a Savior.

To Christ be all glory, honor and praise EVERY day of the year and forever!

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