The Morning after Christmas
Bellies are full, hearts are merry, songs are sung, and everyone has received what they wanted and more from Christmas. At the center of it all, Christmas is an opportunity to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus. In spite of all the historical and economical controversy surrounding Christmas, for some Christians Christmas is an opportunity to reflect on the nativity narrative and share the story of Jesus to others who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Well, today is December 26th. Now what? Before I continue, let me first say that I am not a grumpy writer. In fact, while typing this article I was enjoying a cup of vegan eggnog with feel-good instrumental music playing in the background. As I was reflecting on December 26th, I began to wonder what happened next after all the commotion surrounding Jesus’s birth. As I was reading through the Gospels, I ran into Luke 2.
According to the Gospel of Luke, the next known event after the birth of Jesus and its surrounding activities, is when Jesus is presented at the temple. It was custom that every firstborn male be consecrated to God. I was struck by what Simeon says to God in the form of praise:
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)
Then he proceeds to bless Jesus’s parents by saying, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against” (Luke 2:34). In short, without getting into a long exegetical or homiletical exercise, Jesus was consecrated to turn Israel—and ultimately the world—upside-down. If Mary and Joseph thought that the birth of Jesus caused so much chaos, imagine what they were in for trying to raise a son who was destined to be an activist and the Savior of the world!
Though we do not know what happened days after the birth of Jesus, we do know that Jesus was consecrated, blessed, and prepared to turn the world upside-down. It’s fine to celebrate the birth of Jesus; but now Christmas is over. It’s time to get back to the mission of turning the world upside-down. After spending millions of dollars on gifts that we do not necessarily need, let’s get back to using our resources to fund missions, cure the roots of poverty, care for the widows and orphans, and fight against social injustice. If Christians—those who claim to be followers of Christ—continue to celebrate Christmas without consecration, then the morning after Christmas will continue to be a day of mourning for Jesus.
Merry Christmas. Now what?
Well, back to being on mission with God … while sipping on vegan eggnog.