“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2)
As the saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the NEW.” But, do we really have to be out with the old? What if I am not ready for Christmas to be over? What if I long for the smell of the tree, the candles, and the spiced cider to linger in my home a little longer? What if the joyful music and laughter is something I crave – that I am often hard-pressed to find in the days without the celebratory focus of a season? Do I really have to stop lighting my advent candle? Really? I love that candle!
The Good News of the day is that a Christian never stops living Christmas. You cannot light Christmas – – because it’s Christmas that lights you. The message of Christmas is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It does not expire on December 26th. The message of Christmas is not that we can make peace. Or that we can make love, make light, make gifts, or make this world save itself. The message of Christmas is that this world is a mess and needs a Messiah. For unto us a Child is born! (not was…but IS!)
The Light never comes how we expect it. It comes as the unlikely and unexpected – straight into a feeding trough in Bethlehem, and hope is born. It doesn’t matter how dark your world is; a Light can still dawn. God favors the darkest places, so we can see HIS face the brightest. For me, for many years, one of the darkest places has always been the morning after, December 26th. I dread the clean-up, and I often tearfully drag through the day. You see, I believed the lie that “it” was over. But, the Light does not go out the morning after. Once the light of Christ shatters the darkness, shadows flee forever. There is no going back and living in the dark; you live in the powerful Light of life, and Christmas never ends for you. A Christian never stops living Christmas – because it’s Christmas that lights you.
You only really believe in Christmas when you really live it. When you light a dark world and the unexpected places with a brave flame of joy; when you warm the cold, hopeless places with the daring joy that God is with us, God is for us, God is in us; then you believe in Christmas. When you really believe in Christmas, you believe there is really hope for everyone. Unless you pass along the hope of Christmas EVERY DAY, then you live like Christmas is a myth…like it is simply a season and not a Savior.
So, Light the Advent candles. Light them today, and tomorrow, and every day, ALL year! Live in The Never-Ending Light because Christmas is not over, it is NEW every day.
*This blog is inspired by Ann Voskamp’s Advent devotional (her words in italics)