Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pastor Jerry Brady
Sanctuary Ministries 

Packing Up Christmas


January 10, 2011

It’s “Twilight Time”. (I’m not sure that is really true; I just said it to be relevant with all the fans of the book/movie series out there.)

We have entered the post-Christmas holiday season and have entered into a new year. Soon all the bright and festive lights and displays that have adorned the inside and outside of so many houses will come down. They will be packed up and put away for another year. Where once there were lights of various shapes, sizes, and colors lighting up the dark night sky, soon there will be only the dark night sky.

I am originally from northern Illinois, and spent about five years living in eastern Montana before moving to Washington State. I remember many people commenting on how much they disliked the month of January. It seemed to be the coldest, darkest month of the year; and there were no major holidays (after New Year’s Day) for which to decorate to warm up our houses and our spirits.

It becomes a challenging time, especially emotionally and mentally. Here, I think, is part of the problem. Christmas brings with it a great time of celebration, with gift giving and expressions of love for one another.

This, of course, for Christians, is highlighted with the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world, from the ultimate gift giver — God—from the ultimate act of love (John 3:16).

Yet, as we pack up the Christmas lights and decorations and put them away until next year, so, too, do we tend to pack up the Christ and put Him away for another year. We never completely forget about either; but we no longer make them the focus of our lives. It is as if we desire to return to life as “normal”. But was that life really all that great?

If so, why do so many people make New Year’s resolutions? The fact is we want the new (next) year to be different, indeed better, than the last. I believe the best way to do that is to continue to celebrate the life that comes with a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ (John 1:4). Don’t just celebrate the birth of the Christ child for a short time at the end of the year. Instead, celebrate the Lord of Glory everyday of the year.

We need to have and encounter with Christ, not just Christmas. Consider this: the Christian expression for the Christmas holiday is: “Jesus is the reason for the Season.” Yet, Jesus came not just to be part of our Christmas season, but to be a part of every season of our lives. Not just the physical seasons of weather, but the mental, emotional, and physical seasons we go through in our lives.

So don’t pack Him up and put Him away with all the lights and decorations until next Christmas season.

Let Him be a part­­—in fact make Him a part­—of your life throughout this year, and throughout all the years of your life.

Trust me, life will never go back to being “normal” again! Have a very joyful new year!


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