Christmas season has descended upon us again and will soon be over for yet another year. Many will breathe a sigh of relief. Others are left with melancholy feelings and loneliness. Mixed emotions are the order of the day. There is the joy of sharing with family and friends, the wonderful music of the Christmas season, and the excitement of children. Nativity scenes and carols fill the holidays. Add to these activities decorating, buying and exchanging gifts, baking cookies, making fudge, Christmas gatherings, family dinners, travel, and more. For many, all of this causes the adrenaline to flow, and perhaps a few develop a ‘bah humbug’ attitude. *The normal events mentioned above have been altered for most of us because of Covid Pandemic.
In what seems like an instant, the holiday season is over and we come down from our high. It is time to return to the routines of our lives. What lasting impact has Christmas really had on us? I’m talking about more than depleted bank accounts, credit card bills, and exhaustion. Will this year be like so many others? Will the message of Christmas soon evaporate into an occasional pleasant memory?
The second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew relates the marvelous account of the Wise Men. They followed the light of the Guiding Star to the Christ Child. When they arrived in Bethlehem, “They rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matthew 2:10, KJV). When they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, “they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11, NIV).
If we are aware of His presence in this Christmas season, we should emulate the ‘Wise Men’. If we have truly worshipped Him and have also given Him the gifts of ourselves, our time, and our treasures, we will be blessed and eternally changed for the better. The Wise Men left their encounter with the Christ of Christmas differently than they came. “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route” (Matthew 2:12, NIV).
May we be committed to returning to our normal routines as different people in a different way. Because of a fresh, or perhaps for some a first, encounter with Jesus, we ought to be better people. Let us travel into the days ahead another way, a different way than we came.
~ Brother Roy