Friday, January 2, 2015

Putting Christmas Away

The time has come.  The guests have gone.  Even the little plastic tubs of leftovers in the fridge look forlorn, having been reheated a few too many times.  Drifts of evergreen needles appear every morning on the living room floor like sand dunes after a storm. The ornaments on the tree are faded, weary and ready to get settled down for a long winter's nap.  Even the nativity will get packed gently into its carton, nestled and safe, accompanied by the waning strains of carols. The empty boxes are ready at the top of the stairs.  The season has passed.

But it is not time to put Christmas away,
                   it is time to put it into action. 

Jesus did not just come as a sweet little baby;  He came to save people from their sins (Matthew 1.21).  He came to change us and to make all things new.

I don't need to put Christmas away.  I need to walk with Him right into the reality of the new year. 

And how do I do that?  I have no idea what is ahead of me in this new year.  But because of Christmas, I am ready.
No matter the difficulty of my situation, no matter who God places on my path today, no matter how bleak or love-deprived or seemingly hopeless.  Take the love of Jesus there, as theologian Henri Nouwen says in his book In the Name of Jesus

And the only way to do that is to abide in Him.  Not as a decoration hung around one's neck, nor an accessory to put on, but at the core of one's heart, Jesus infiltrates everything.

Abide in Me,
          and I in you.
As the branch
  cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
He who abides in Me,
         and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from Me,
    you can do nothing.

                    John 14. 4-5

It is not time to put Jesus away in the attic.

It's "go time."

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