Do you get mixed feelings of nostalgia and excitement before the new year like I do? I’ve heard many say they’re glad Christmas is over so life can continue as ‘normal,’ but not me. My house aglow with twinkling lights, spiced eggnog and warm apple cider drinks, surprise carolers from the neighborhood church, heartwarming specials on TV, more time with loved ones, our kids and their cousins dutifully performing their own play for the family on Christmas Eve . . . that, I could do all year. The world is different the week of Christmas, reminding us of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. We temporarily forget our obsession with warring and put away our weapons. We climb down our ladder to success to put up lights instead while remembering the light of the world who came to save us all. He is the reason for the season. Those who go through the year without giving him much thought suddenly hear the carol being performed by a group of children in the mall, “O come, let us adore him,” and tears swell up in their eyes as there’s a repenting silence among the crowd of shoppers who have paused to stop and listen.
Now lights are coming down, shoppers exchange unwanted gifts, holiday decorations and sweets are discounted to 75% off, and the credit card bills are in the mail. Everything is back to our new ‘normal.’ The war of terror resumes.
I know celebrating Christmas year round wouldn’t really solve our problems. But I can’t help but wonder, if God can do so much with such apprehensive prayers lamely presented at Christmas time, how much more could he do if we truly sought him every day?
Christmas has come and gone, but there are actually a thousand reasons everyday to be happy, but if we don’t have peace in our hearts, we’ll never be happy. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Whatever 2016 brings, don’t submit to circumstances. Submit to the Lord who controls circumstances. Unlike worldly peace where we wish for the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. With Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or future. There’s not enough Christmas traditions to bring lasting peace. Only God can.
Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near. That’s gift number one. And he will be with us allll year round; not just in December. I hope we’ll all remember that in 2016.
Gift number two is my book, 18 THINGS, is FREE today and tomorrow! Please help me spread the post-Christmas cheer 🙂
Sample social media post:
Love, faith & bucket lists! Looking for an excellent YA book for the
#NewYear? 18 Things by @jamiemayres is FREE: http://www.amazon.com/18-Things-My-So-Called-Afterlife-ebook/dp/B00B53VJ38/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1451425832&sr=8-1