Now, I do appreciate the day after Christmas. That is the day to play with toys, eat leftovers, cozy up with some cookies and milk and watch a movie. The wonder of the holiday season is already becoming fond memories to recount in years to come. The 26th is the beginning of the end of the festive days of cheer. But in reality, the day after Christmas marks a whole new kind of beginning.
The day Jesus was born was the long-awaited fulfillment of a promise that God made to humanity to one day send someone to be our redeemer. The day after Jesus was born began the work of that long-awaited redeemer. Some may say that Jesus was only one day old and perhaps as a baby He just slept and ate. I agree. In order to redeem us fully, Jesus had to live like us. He had to be a helpless baby. There were no angels attending him, just a young mama and so He had to cry for His needs to be met. No longer seated with the Father, He had to be raised and taught by a humble carpenter daddy. Jesus our redeemer had chosen the confines of humanity, and He had to learn our ways so He could teach us His ways.
God knows our needs; He knows what we are facing because He has been here with us. The day after Christmas I imagine Mary and Joseph woke up and started the hard work of “What now?” They needed work, a trip to the market, and a hot meal. They had to find a home, the stable was temporary and only meant for one holy night. The shepherds were gone, the wise men were on their way, and Herod was blissfully unaware that the true King had come. Christmas day shifted the cosmos, the day-after shook our very understanding of how far God was willing to go to be our redeemer.
For centuries, people knew that God was sending a messiah king, but their understanding was a warrior king come to smite the enemy and raise up their nation in glory. Jesus came to understand us and to help us understand God as our Father. Jesus had to come as a baby, be raised by an earthly father, learn our language, laugh at silly things, cry, dance, eat, drink, feel tired—all so He could communicate with us in terms we could understand.
The day after Christmas, Jesus simply woke up and got to work being a sweet baby. He did all of that so you and I could be called sons and daughters of the Most High. So although I love Christmas in all its joyous glory, I am so grateful for the day after when God chose to live among us and walk this earth to show us His deep love and care. As you settle into all of the days after Christmas, take some time to consider the many ways that God works to show you His love and perhaps how you can work with God to show others love.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!
Thank-you to all the families who brought their children to participate! Another thank-you goes to our very own Brandie and Amber who took on the roles of Joseph and Mary. A huge thank-you to the amazing volunteer support we had; what a great team! Finally, I have to thank the members of the Children and Family Team who are incredibly supportive and truly have a heart for the kids of our church.
ancient traditions, I hope you learn something new!
The Christian Meaning of Ancient Traditions:
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
David wrote, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me.”
David is my hero. He stood confidently against his enemies in the most dire of conditions. The Lord was his rock, his strength, and his light. He wrote, “Whom then should I fear?” He remained optimistic because he trusted in God.
This is food for thought for all Christians. Whom should we fear? As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
We should all be optimists. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!”
His answer, the candy cane. The candy cane was in the shape of a shepherd’s staff to show them that Jesus is our Shepherd and we are His flock. Upside down the candy cane was a “J”, the first letter of Jesus’ name. It was made of hard candy to remind us that Christ is the rock of our salvation. The wide red stripes on the candy cane were to represent the blood He shed on the cross for each one of us so that we can have eternal life through Him. The three narrow stripes on the candy canes symbolized that by His stripes, or wounds, we are healed.
The flavoring in the candy cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is of the mint family and was used in Old Testament times for purification and sacrifice just as Jesus sacrificed His life for ours. The old candy maker told the children that when we break our candy cane it reminds us that Jesus’ body was broken for us. If we share our candy cane and give some to someone else in love, it represents the love of Jesus. God gave Himself to us when He sent Jesus. He loved us so much He wants us to spend eternity with Him!
Legend is an old English word meaning “probably not true” and although we may never know if this legend is really true, the beauty of the legend is such a reminder of God’s eternal love for us all!
My Christmas wish is that God grant us all the light of Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ.
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.