Do you ever experience Post-Christmas Let Down? So much time, effort, money, and energy. And then – poof! – here we are in January.
For some, you wish the season was still going on. For others, you’re ready for life to calm down a bit. Either way, most of us only really think about Christmas…well…during Christmas. But what if the truths of the Christmas Story could be carried all year long? What if this was God’s intention from the beginning?
This has been an interesting Christmas season for me. Not better or worse than other years. Just different. I found myself “pondering” a bit more. Pondering not what God wanted me to “learn.” Pondering more of what He wants me to “know.”
And it’s a deep-down knowing. A truths-that-make-a-difference knowing. A chew-on-this knowing.
God reminded me (and I’m about to remind you) that the truths He revealed that first Christmas are truths to be carried all year long. Truths that will make a difference in everyday life. Truths about who God is, who we are, and what He’s up to.
Truth #1: God wants to be with us.
Seems so obvious, doesn’t it? After all, it’s pretty much the over-arching premise of the whole story. The Story.
We’re apart from God. God doesn’t want that. God makes a way. God takes the initiative. God makes it happen. God approaches us.
What if you and I actually remembered that every day? He didn’t come in the past so we can be with Him in the future. Ok…He did. But more accurately: He didn’t only come in the past so we can be with Him only in the future.
He came…and never left. He’s here. With you. Right now. (Go ahead. Say “hello.”)
Truth #2: God is equally present in the majestic and the mundane.
We look for God to show up in the big, majestic, amazing ways. Sometimes He does. After all, I think the heavenly host putting on a concert for the shepherds would qualify as “majestic.” But there was also a long road trip. A tired couple. A stable. A manger.
You won’t find any of those on the List of Majestic God Sightings. But He was surely present.
And he’s present on your commute to work. He’s present in your laundry-folding. He’s present in your cubicle. He’s present at the desk in your classroom.
Brother Lawrence referred to “peeling potatoes to the glory of God.” He carried this truth with him…
Truth #3: The Gospel is for all of us.
Teenagers. Adults. Men. Women. Educated. Blue collar. People who were “in” and others who were “out.” Church people. People who didn’t know what to believe, or if they believe.
You’ll find them all in the Christmas narrative.
“For God so loved the world…”
Truth #4: The Divine and the ordinary were never meant to be separated.
Christmas is about restoration as much as anything else. God is in the business of fixing what is broken. Mending what is torn. Restoring what is being destroyed.
What I noticed this year is that God’s divinity is on full display in a story about Him becoming human. Angels speaking to a frightened girl and her confused fiancé. The heavenly host singing for shepherds. God creating skin…and then hopping inside the very skin He had created.
How strange is that? And yet, it shouldn’t be strange at all.
Ever since the opening pages of Genesis, God’s desire is to walk with us. Talk with us. BE with us. The closing chapters of Revelation speak of a day when the Divine and the ordinary will forever be united.
All too often we make the mistake of going to church, going to the Word, or going to prayer to find God – as if that’s the only place He is present. Is He in those places? Without a doubt. Is He only in those places? Not a chance.
Truth #5: God’s plans rarely align with our expectations.
A teenage virgin – now pregnant. Not part of Mary’s plan.
A fiancé finds out his betrothed is pregnant. Not part of Joseph’s plan.
They both travel cross country during the third trimester. Not part of their plan.
The night shift experiences the greatest concert in history. Not part of the shepherds’ plan.
A new king is born. Not part of Herod’s plan.
A baby arrives in a stable. Not part of the innkeeper’s plan.
God enters the scene as a helpless baby. Not part of anybody’s plan.
No. This wasn’t part of the plan. It was part of The Plan. And it’s so much better.
You could make your own list, couldn’t you? I know I could. When will you and I lean into the truth that the Master Planner knows what He’s doing (even when we don’t)?
Truth #6: God resides wherever there is room.
He doesn’t require you to get things “cleaned up” first. After all, his first bed was splattered with cattle drool. He doesn’t demand perfection – or even “really good.”
He simply asks you one question.
It’s a question He asks at Christmas. It’s the same question He asks you today. It’s the same question He will ask you tomorrow.
“Have you made room for Me?”
The answer to that one question will change everything.