Sunday, December 26, 2010

Overcoming the After Christmas Let Down - December 26, 2010

Galatians 3:23-25 (New Living Translation)
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.

24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

Galatians 4:1-7 (New Living Translation)
1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

It's all over; the presents are all opened, celebrations have been shared, carols have been sung, and yet for some of you the day after Christmas is a real let down. Here you have spent all of this time preparing for Christmas,shopping for those perfect gifts, stringing lights, writing cards, attending holiday parties, and decorating trees and homes, and now you wonder is this all there is? You wonder if is these exhausting weeks getting ready really matters.

For many, Christmas is just a time for being good and trying to give out presents. Many others keep on wanting to cling to a "works based religion" that says we need to do something to be acceptable to God, and you go through the traditional motions surrounding Christmas, like making the obligatory trek to church and participating in a service now and then. But here again, the let down leaves you wondering why you went through all of this in the first place.

If you fail to unpack the gift of the "new life" that is available through Jesus Christ, you have missed the true meaning of Christmas, and all of the time apent in celebration has been for nothing. You are probably finding yourself depressed and sad that it is all over, and all you have to look forward to is the apporach of another year. Christmas without the change that takes place in your heart is meaningless.

Jesus has come so that you can be free to enjoy the wholeness of life found only in him. Jesus Christ is the reason for the season, and only a life focused on that truth can be filled with hope and joy during this special time. Have you failed to unwrap the true gift of Christmas? In the silence of a quiet room, seek Him and the gift only He can offer.

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