Another Christmas has come and gone. The hustle and bustle of the season is winding to a close and that dreaded post-Christmas-credit-card-bill is probably in the mail. But as we head towards a new year, I have to ask the question: What do we do with all of this Christmas in the wake of Christmas? What about all those themes and theological truths we’ve been focusing on? What about all that prophecy, and Jesus stuff we were going on and on about? Is it really just finished? Well, short answer no, long answer: No because…. Christmas was traditionally a festival that lasted 12 days (hence the song with all the lords a leaping, maids a milking, and FIIIIVE GOLDEN RIIIIINGS!). Christmas is supposed to last until January 6th when we celebrate the Epiphany, a feast day commemorating the visiting of the Magi (the three kings/wise men, although there is little evidence to suggest they were really kings or that there was only three of them) to the Christ child. This all culminates to point as an arrow, as Christmas is intended to do, to point to Easter, the culmination and climax of the Messianic narrative. Christ dying. We see this expressed in the gifts the magi brought: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.  God because he is a king, Frankincense because he is a priest, and Myrrh because he is a sacrifice, and it is an opiate and embalming fluid (not exactly my top baby-gift idea). We celebrate advent because we wait for Jesus’s return in the same way that the people of the first century waited for the coming of the messiah. We celebrate Christmas because it represents the beginning of God’s plan for redemption, Epiphany because it reveals God’s intended roles for the Messiah, and Easter because of Jesus’s victory over sin and death and the promise of eternal life. Christmas, while we make it about gifts, and family, and togetherness (all of which is fine) is really all about Easter, which is about Death, and Life, and Life to the fullest. So while you are sorting through boxes, and paper, and throwing out your tree; while you take down the holly and wreaths and ribbons and lights, be focused on the truly amazing sacrifice that Jesus made. Think about the roles he plays as Preacher, Prophet, Messiah, and King. Give thanks that the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in the form of man to teach us how to live, to show us God’s mercy in his death, and God’s great gifts through his resurrection. Be blessed this season.

Jeff


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