For when you unplug the Christmas lights

all-is-merry-and-bright

“Let your heart by light. From now on our troubles will be out of sight” – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane

“All is calm, all is bright” – Silent Night, Joseph Mohr

“May all your days be merry and bright” – White Christmas, Irving Berlin

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” – Ephesians 5:8

The transition out of Christmas is always rough for me as I’m certain it is for others. Through the holiday season, we are given a time where everything around us is telling us to stop worrying and instead to be present in the season. The happiest tunes are playing, the merriest messages are told, the smells of home and comfort fill the air, we are given presents, and the coziest settings are surrounding us with twinkling lights. On top of these more material traits, we are encouraged to take time with family and soak up what’s good and bright and light about life. Not everyone may feel this way, but to many of us, this is as close to magic as we get in this world.

Then just like that, the family leaves, the lights unplug, the gym memberships spike, the credit card payments hit and the typical hustle and bustle and worries return again.

When you look at the song and biblical quotes above, there’s irony in how we transition so quickly out of this “season.” “From now on all your troubles will be out of sight” or “may your days be merry and bright.”

Then you look to the Bible, and there’s nothing about how only in this one season should you be happy and light. We are “children of light.” Not only once a year, not only when we have time off from work or can spend a lot of money on presents (ignoring the bills after) or can ignore the news of the world for a few days. We are light – now and always. In the days after Christmas. In each season we go through.

To help myself transition back from the vacation I had from my everyday life, I will seek to remember the message those good ‘ol Christmas songs and films illustrate to us but perhaps in a more adult manner. Before any of you cynics roll your eyes, hear me out. As children these films serve to teach us that Christmas isn’t about Santa, but rather is about celebrating what Jesus means to us. It’s also a time to take at least a day to remember how fortunate we are, give away fortune to those who need it more, and enjoy the feeling of giving more than receiving, etc.

Now as adults, as we internalize that message, shouldn’t the days after Christmas be some of the most positive yet? Christmas served as a much-needed reminder of what life is all about. It returned us to the meaning of life. We are here and we are forgiven and we are loved because Jesus came for us. Not only that, but we have things here on earth, like family, friends and little signs all around to remind us of this love.

The days and months after Christmas will no doubt fade this message a bit and we will likely get distracted. But maybe start with just today. Remember what it felt like to be swept up in the goodness of Christmas and take that with you. God equipped you with this ability to remember the light as you walk through any darkness. He sent Jesus and enabled the Christmas season to bring you back to that message.

 

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