Advent is the season to prepare for the birth of the Savior. We light candles, do readings, and hold vigil on Christmas Eve.
Culturally, we’ve made anticipation of Christmas a foundation of our economy – with multiplying special shopping days; Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday. We start Christmas music in October. We have secular versions of Advent with “Elf,”
countdown calendars and office parties. Then Christmas morning arrives – with a tremendous burst of energy as we race to rip open wrapping and appropriate our gifts. A great meal follows.
Well, that part can’t be described as anticipation – more like anti-anticipation. It is all clean-up, looking for lost receipts, moaning about the size of our waists and the credit card bills. A few days later, we drag our balding Christmas trees to the curb and face the task of packing away the decorations. Ugh, this is post-vent.
But the birth of Jesus is just the beginning of the Christ-coming. The work, the actual blessing of the Savior is just getting started. Redemption isn’t over; it has been launched. Easter is coming. On our calendar, Easter Sunday is just 93 days after Christmas. But for the child Jesus, it was 33 years. Thirty-three years of preparation for the real Black Friday where He purchased the only gift that matters: our salvation. Thirty-three years, He practiced advent for us, preparing for our new birth.
So after Christmas this year, when you are sorting through the clean-up, when you are returning unwanted gifts, when you are boxing up the past Christmas – remember that Jesus is just getting started. He is growing up into the rescue mission, He is starting on His journey to Jerusalem, He is beginning to talk about bringing us Home.
So after Christmas this year, don’t give into the idea that it’s over. Don’t complain that Christmas didn’t meet your expectations. Remember that Christmas isn’t meant to meet your expectations, it is meant to raise them. Christmas is just the beginning of the hope that is raised anew and will never have to be packed away again.
Only 93 days ‘til Easter.
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. In addition to counseling individuals & couples, Roger teaches & leads discussion groups about applying the Bible to everyday life. He is a licensed professional counselor, holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana & earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from UNCC. He is married to Jean, and they have seven children.
Roger. Thank you.
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