Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt---
I said to myself, as only I can "
You can't spend a winter disguised as a man! "
So--away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chips
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie--not even a lick.
I'll chew only on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore---
But isn't that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet! "
A kernel of truth in this silly poem. The day after Christmas, the festivities are over, reality sets in, families go home. “I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore--- But isn't that what January is for?” The routine is just around the corner.
Christmas is different for Sally and me as we adjust to life with adult children. As we decorated the tree, I learned Esther and Forest had a favorite ornament… a set of little glass angels…. over the years one or two have disappeared, a few have broken wings… Sally and I have a custom that we keep a small Christmas decoration up all year as a reminder that Christmas is all year long… this year my choice is a crystal angel ~ Whenever I see it I will remember my children and that “Jesus, who was first announced by the angels, is the reason for every season.”
Christmas is only beginning. Jesus is a life changer. Refuse to be “hungry, lonesome and bored” this January ~ Jesus is the REASON FOR EVERY SEASON! Three ways to keep Christmas alive:
TALK. The first thing the Bible says the shepherds did after they saw the Baby Jesus in the manger: READ Luke 2:17-18. They talked about what they had seen. They told people because what they saw was amazing.
There are two types of Christmas presents, those that you like, ~ When you see it, wear it, or eat it, you appreciate the gift and the giver. The other type ~ gifts you take for granted. You open it and quickly go on to the next. I appreciate all the gifts I received this year, a Seahawks sweatshirt, a new shirt… and another exciting gift to me that I have told people that now I am in my 50s and am very hard to buy things for me ~ get me an amaryllis, the long stemmed large blossomed middle of winter beautiful flower. I will appreciate this winter not one, but two amaryllis’s that are now planted and growing in my house, I will remember the giver, I will be reminded that spring is around the corner, I will appreciate the perfection of creation, I will marvel at how amazing God is ~ and I know all guests in our house will see the flowers and smile.
Do not take the birth of Jesus Christ for granted. /// Tell others. In one form or another we talk about that which most affects us. The message of the shepherds is larger than the birth in a stable. The shepherds spread the word about what they had been told about Jesus. He is the Christ they are told in Luke 2:11. And he is LORD. That means Jesus was sent by God to bring salvation to the world, to redeem the world and that Jesus is master, one to whom you are to give your life. They tell it all. The angels. The joy. The amazement. The prediction that came true.
How do you continue to keep Christmas alive? Talk about what you have seen, just like the shepherds. They saw and talked. What have you seen? How has Jesus blessed you? If you believe Jesus is the Christ and he is Lord, ask everyday for God to open your eyes to his fingerprints in your life, the blessings that he gives you, the guidance he provides. Be prepared to share the story of what you see in your life with others …. Refuse to let January be the month of hunger, loneliness and boredom. Keep talking about Jesus as the Reason for Every Season.
“and all who heard it were amazed” it says in Luke 2:18. That doesn’t mean they all became Christians, it simply means that they were blessed at some level. As you talk about Christ in your life, not everyone will embrace Christ, but all will appreciate your changed life. I have discovered the world likes happy people. If you are happy, others will want to be around you, they will feed off of you… If you have the joy of the Lord expressed through the glow of your countenance and the words of your mouth, the story you tell will be an inspiration and encouragement to others. That’s how you keep Christmas alive.
PONDER: Let’s move on to Mary’s greatest example to help a weary world continue the wonderful spirit of Christmas: READ Luke 2:19. Pondering.
The word “treasured” has the idea of making a list so that you will not forget anything. One of my recent hobbies is to transfer thousands of family and church slides into digital format. I recently posted on FB a photograph of my father along with five other men on top of Mt. Baker in 1964. I listed the names of the guys based on what my father had written on the slide. One man was listed as “Johnson.” Linn Johnson responded it was her husband, Terry Johnson, only 17 at the time. As we wrote back and forth Terry could recall a ton of details about the one and only time he climbed Mt. Baker. He remembered details and the feeling of climbing Mt. Baker 50 years ago. This is to Treasure in his heart. We all have treasures that are extremely meaningful, the people we love, the life changing experiences, and we don’t forget.
Mary treasured and pondered the birth of Jesus, the events leading up to the birth, the angels, the way the birth came about, the prophecy’s …. Treasure is to hold in your heart, pondering takes the treasures to a new level… I treasure trips to Disneyland from my childhood because it was of rich memories, but I don’t ponder because the meaning is not that deep. Mary Pondered. This means she went beneath the surface and tried to put it all together. No doubt she continued to wonder why God had chosen her, and undoubtedly she pondered what was ahead for her newborn son.
Pondering is hard work, which is why many of us never get around to it. What better time than now to ponder what God has been teaching you? Look back over the last 12 months and consider the ways and works of God in your life and in the world around you? Ponder what Christ has in store for you, for our community and world. Jesus is the reason for every season. Keep Christmas alive by pondering the grace God has already given you, and what he has in store for you. Uncover the deeper meaning. Mary pondered what God had been doing in her life.
GLORIFY. READ Luke 2:20. The last verse tells us the shepherds were profoundly changed. On the day before Christ was born, they were in the fields tending their sheep. On the day after Jesus was born, they were back in the fields. Everything looked the same, but now their hearts are filled with praise to God. Having seen Jesus in the manger, the shepherds were overwhelmed by God’s power, his grace, his goodness, his wisdom, and the amazing miracle of God becoming flesh. This is what it means to glorify God: They couldn’t stop talking about what they had seen and heard.
It is significant the shepherds went right back to the fields. Back to the stubborn sheep. Back where the angel found them in the first place. Having seen the Baby in the manger, it was time to go back to work.
January is coming. The festivities of Christmas ends. The tree will come down (or in Diane’s case, the 16 trees), the ornaments will be packed away, the children will go back to school. Life will return to normal. But will you be changed by Christmas? Or will it be business as usual in 2015? For the shepherds, life would never be the same. The work was the same but they were different. They went back with new enthusiasm, new joy, and new love for God in their hearts. Back in Luke 2:14, when the angels told the shepherds “Glory to God in the highest…” they did not mean only at that moment, they meant a lifetime of Glory!
Would you like Christmas to last all year? Jesus is the reason for every season! The world will return to ordinary patterns.
Back to the fields with the sheep.
Back to your office.
Back to your classroom.
Back to your neighborhood.
Back to your job.
Back to your family routine.
But as you go back, do like the shepherds ~ glorify God and praise him. Christmas is a gift from God that has the power to change your world. Christmas didn’t change the daily life of the shepherds, but it changed them. If I were to write the story of the shepherds, I’d say God touched them through the visitation of the host of angels, they went and saw the baby Jesus, quit their jobs, became pastors and missionaries and went to far away lands to convert others to Christianity. But that is not the story of the Bible. The shepherds returned to the fields to watch the sheep but they were changed people that glorified Christ. They had seen the Christ child.
Have you seen Jesus this year at Christmastime? If you have, return to what you were doing and take the memory of Christmas with you. Glorify God and praise him as you go about your routine and you will find your days filled with joy.
How shall we celebrate Christmas come January? Follow the example of Mary and the Shepherds. TALK. PONDER. GLORIFY. Tell others how God is impacting your world, what you have seen. The world loves/needs people of joy. Ponder, as a way of life, the deeper truth of what Jesus means. There is always more to understand and grasp. And Glorify the Lord by being in constant amazement of who Christ is and what he does for you and through you.
The way of the world is to see January, the time after Christams, as the time to be hungry, lonely and bored. The example of Mary and the Shepherds shows us that the way to keep Christmas alive is by talking about what we have seen, pondering to gain greater understanding, and Glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ because he is so amazing. Jesus is the reason for every season. Amen.