Here is a classic re-post to help you adjust to the post-Christmas season.
Let’s start with this wonderful song that captures all that I am trying to say:
My son Chuck is now sixteen years old. He’s six feet tall and he’s starting to get muscles. The other night he was doing his evening push-ups. I usually watch and watching makes me tired. He said; “Join me Dad, I’ll match you two for one.” He did. I did twenty-five sloppy half push-ups and he did fifty swift and perfect.
He hasn’t been that way for long. I remember when he still had his baby fat. Seems like it was just a few weeks ago, in fact. Once those years ago it was after Christmas and I was working in my study. It was a time of the year I have always liked right after all the holidays are over and we are turning the corner on another year. I always look forward to diving into the New Year with new challenges and fresh opportunities. Lois was home still cleaning up after our big New Year celebration. She was taking down the lights and the tree and putting away the decorations for the year. Chuck and the others were helping. Chuck was three, maybe four.
The phone rang and I answered it. Lois was on the line. “Ken,” she said; “Chuckie wants to talk to you, I’ll put him on.” “Okay,” I said. “Hey, little buddy, what’s up?” There was silence for a minute on the other end of the line, than a little cracking voice croaked into the phone; “Dad, Mom’s takin’ down the Christmas tree, come home and stop her.”
I put away may work for a while and came home. I asked Chuck to help me with the tree. We put on our coats, hats and gloves and dragged the once stately tree out to the garden leaving a trail in the snow. Then we stood for a while and looked quietly at it bright green against white. It was a sunny afternoon.
I put my arm around tiny Chuck and we were quiet for a while, then I cleared my throat and made a little eulogy speech for our departed friend. “Well, Chuck, it was a beautiful tree wasn’t it? We all enjoyed getting it and having it in our house for Christmas. Now it’s time to say good-bye to our tree. Chuckie, to our family the Christmas tree reminds us of eternal life. Jesus came to the world to die for us on the cross so we could have eternal life. In a minute we will light the tree and it will burn up and while it burns it will make us warm, but we will always have eternal life. Let’s just pray right now and thank the Lord for sending his son the Lord Jesus so we could always have eternal life, even when Christmas is over.”
We prayed and then stood silently watching the tree burn. Then we turned and walked back in the house where Lois had some hot chocolate to warm us. (Even when my little speeches don’t work, hot chocolate always helps at time like this).
It is natural to have an emotional let-down after we have put so much into our celebration of Christmas. I’m sure the same thing was true when the Lord Jesus walked the hills of the Holy Land. Jesus celebrated Hanukah. After the last day of the celebration of Hanukah, the Festival of Lights, Jesus stood to teach where He often did, in the courtyard of the Temple on Solomon’s Porch. During the feast huge beautiful Menorahs filled with candlesticks burned in the courtyard of the Temple. Each day throughout the festival as additional candles were lit, the light would grow brighter and brighter. People would gather to sing and worship and celebrate. But on this day those lights would have burned out making it gloomy in comparison and it was back to business as usual.
It was on that day Jesus stepped forward and in a loud voice said something very significant; “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Can you see him now stepping out on the porch of heaven and watching us put away all our Christmas decorations. He knows the melancholy that often visits the human spirit at times like this. He sees into the deepest part of our over-shadowed souls and he steps out on the porch of heaven and says; “When all the lights are put away, I am still the light of the world.”
We live in a dark world where many have lost their way in the darkness of sin and all the foul things that go with that. But those who understand that Jesus came to earth to save his people from their sins, don’t pack away their hope and joy with the Christmas lights.
(From Stonebridge Newsletter – Number 66)