Finally, brothers, … whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious… think about these things. Philippians 4:8
If I don’t tackle big projects over the weekend, they take FOREVER during the week. With three kids, and their homework and activities, I’m constantly having to stop what I’m doing to help them. The weekday me becomes very inefficient, and things are always left undone.
That was the case with packing up Christmas this year.
We always leave our decorations up until Epiphany. Having hosted a family party that night, the next day was spent cleaning up and recovering. When I finally started packing up Christmas this past Sunday night, I only had a few hours to do what usually takes an entire day to complete. So it rolled over into this week.
After packing for days, I keep thinking I’m done. Yet every time I turn a corner – there’s another decoration I’ve left behind. It never seems to end!
The more I think about it, the more I realize it isn’t meant to end. Christmas isn’t just December 25th. It’s supposed to be every day of the year, every day of our lives.
Have you ever noticed how Christmas brings out the best in people? Those cranky people, who never even wave, are suddenly decorating their lawns with blow up snowmen and tacky lights. Despite appearing joyless January through November, they’re suddenly wearing their joy on the outside for all to see.
Or how we overworked and harried moms somehow manage to gather with family and friends, carve out time for prayer and church, and go the distance to do thoughtful things for others? Why are we so anxious to pack all these wonderful things away? I don’t think we’re supposed to.
I get that none of us can keep up the Christmas pace. Although it’s a fabulous time of year, it’s also chaotic and exhausting. But what if we held onto those remnants of Christmas that are good and lovely, and don’t pack them away? What if we continue to prioritize family and friends, prayer and faith, thoughtfulness and joy, every day of the year?
Jesus didn’t come just for a season. He remains with us always, if we just have the eyes to see Him. Every time we turn a corner, He’s there: in those who need help, in those who help us, and in our children.
Our Christmas graciousness shouldn’t last just for a season either. It should be a part of us always. It’s how we live out the reason He came to earth in the first place.
Questions For Reflection:
* What were the good and lovely things that came out of Christmas this year?
* Do I have to pack them away? Or can I hold onto those remnants as reminders to live out the reason for the season, on a daily basis?