For years, December 26 was one of my least favorite days of the year.
My feelings had less to do with saying goodbye to the “hap-happiest season of all” and more to do with how I lived the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
I’m ashamed to say that during those years, my focus wasn’t as much on Christ as it was on my desperate need to have the same warm and fuzzy Christmases I saw in most Christmas movies. Perhaps I was trying to compensate for past Christmases, especially those I’d spent without my children because of my (then) battle with chronic depression and eating disorders. So I clawed for that perfect Christmas every year – making my emotional needs the reason (or at least my focus) for the season.
The worst part was that I knew what I was doing, year after year. I repented every December 26. I deeply desired to move beyond my hurt-filled past, but I didn’t know how.
Would you also like to make the rest of this Christmas season more meaningful? Meditating on and applying Matthew 2:11 (ESV) helped me. Maybe it would help you too:
And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
During the remainder of this holy season, let’s worship Emmanuel (which means “God is with us”) by reflecting on Who He is – and thanking Him for coming to earth more than 2,000 years ago and remaining with us ever since.
We can also ask God to show us what gifts we can give Him, like repenting for harboring an unforgiving heart toward others or clinging to a dispiriting attitude about our circumstances. Then we can watch to see how our Redeemer transforms these “gifts” as only He can.
Need another gift idea? Let’s give our Lord the gift of trusting Him. As we choose to trust and rest in His sovereignty (control) over our todays, we can trust Him with our tomorrows.
As we greet December 26 (and every day into the new year) let’s continue to seek ways to bless our heavenly Father. By allowing God to use us in our communities, we can defeat self-focused behavior and beautifully represent Emmanuel.
Let’s show the world that God is indeed with us as we shift our focus to where it rightly belongs – on Him.
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- If you can relate to this post, what can you do to make the days following Christmas Day great days?
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