The Day After
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…” -2 Peter 3:10-12
Christmas: A day anticipated, prepared for, thought over, and then it comes, takes place, and is gone. But what happens for you the day after? Do you call it anticlimactic? Perhaps you feel a bit of sadness. Depression? Emptiness?
Certainly this next day is perhaps reserved for the not-so-glorious task of returning presents for something which fits or replacing them with something you wanted a lot more. But then, back to the same-old, same-old. How does a day anxiously anticipated for over a month become so over and done with in a brief twenty-four hours?
Mary and Joseph’s “gift” on the first Christmas had to be fed, clothed, changed, and cared for 24/7. How do you actually parent and care for the Son of God? They must wonder, Who is this? Mary was inseminated by the Holy Spirit? This never happened before. Nevertheless, the responsibilities of a new baby were not lessened; they were very real despite the wonder and amazement of it all. Many think the work is mundane, but mothering is made for all mothers as a holy and blessed labor of love, the same done by the mother of Jesus.
A place to live, a job to provide sustenance, food to prepare, a baby to nurture – all of this captured the hours of each new day. A home in Bethlehem was procured in some fashion. Mary and Joseph were poor, yet by God’s hand they survived. They did not become beggars!
They were in a home in their new village of Bethlehem when Magi found them a year or so later. Shortly after this visit, though, they were fleeing for their very lives with soldiers searching for them to run a sword through their baby son. But with gifts from these foreign visitors, they now had money to make this hard journey and sustain them in an alien land.
The day after, indeed! What lessons do you learn from your “days after?” For Mary and Joseph, this special son was alive and living in their home. Isn’t the same true for you? Jesus is alive and living in your home, isn’t He? Oh, you do not have an extra mouth to feed, but is there any of your precious time reserved for Him in your day? You see, the nature of the days after are, or ought to be, always focused on Him, even in the midst of your same-old, same-old.
He provides you a positive outlook. He gives character to your hopes, dreams, anticipations. There is no anticlimactic with Him. This is not really just spiritual pie-in-the-sky; it is the reality of the Christian’s life. Or it should be. For you know, Jesus is returning!
According to Matthew 25 (read it again), there are things to be done, oil to be procured, talents to be invested, hungry to be fed, naked to be clothed, prisoners to be visited, and really, an understanding of the different characteristics of sheep compared to goats. There is so much to be done in a relatively short period of time.
Anticlimactic ought not be in your vocabulary. No time for doldrums. Christmas is over, but preparation continues because Jesus is coming back and He’s not here yet. So, there is work to be done, and midnight is coming when your work will end. Today is just one more privileged day to get ready for the really big event.
Wake up each new day with the thought, Jesus is coming! How do I live today keeping this thought in the front of my mind? How does my perspective of that truth radiate in my soul, my hopes, my dreams, my relationships? Such is yet before my eyes and is going to happen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
“Bring near Thy great salvation, Thou Lamb for sinners slain. Fill up the roll of Thine elect, then take Thy power and reign. Appear, Desire of nations, Thine exiles long for home; show in the heav’ns Thy promised sign. Thou Prince and Savior, come.”
(Fourth verse of Henry Alford’s hymn, “Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand,” 1867)
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