“And all they that heard it wondered at those things, which were told them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:18)
It’s the day after Christmas.
Presents are opened. Trees are coming down. Garbage cans are full. Plans are being made for a new year.
I can imagine the “wonder” happening in Bethlehem shortly after the birth of Christ. There was great wonder in the naming of this baby. Jesus, which means “salvation of God” — it was not something someone like Joseph and Mary typically would have named their son. Talk about high hopes for your children!
With the excitement going on in the town because of the census, it is probable that few took notice of Jesus’ birth. Therefore, when the shepherds go about joyfully, almost ecstatically, proclaiming the Good News, people most likely wondered “what baby?” “I didn’t see a baby”. They were so busy with their own celebrations they had missed the birth of a Savior!
What about you? As you clean up the torn packages from yesterday, and you pack away all the new gifts — as you travel back home or prepare to head back to work — as you explore how to spend your Christmas cash — what difference has Christmas made in your life?
Did the fact a Savior was born make a difference in your life this week/this year? Are you living a life that reflects that truth? Or — are you still wondering what all the excitement is about?
Many celebrated Christmas this year. How many really understood the why behind the celebration? Was it the center of their celebration or part of a checklist or after thought.
The parties are over and the gifts are open, and many will be sad the celebration is over, but the celebration alone will never completely fill a person’s heart. Only the true gift of Christmas, the one they named Jesus, can fill the void in a heart, which often dwells at the end of a Christmas celebration.
After the dust settles from the hustle and rush of buying, wrapping, opening gifts, stuffing ourselves with holiday treats and enjoying the company of friends and family is over, perhaps you and I should pause and wonder — pause and truly reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
Perhaps after Christmas is more important even than during.
A Savior has been born. He is Christ the Lord! The Savior grew, lived a sinless life, died on a cross, rose again, and now intercedes between God and man on behalf of those who believe.
He wants to be a friend who sticks closer than a brother. He wants those who are weary and heavy-burdened to come to Him. He wants to bless our lives with true peace. Hope was born at Christmas.
And this part of the Christmas season — will last throughout the coming year — and throughout eternity!
Lord, thank you for Your gift of Jesus, and thank you for bringing salvation to us all! Fill our hearts with Your peace and grace throughout the year, and don’t let us forget the real “reason for the season”. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.