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Not Quite Yet

by Skip Heitzig |
Are you glad Christmas is over? No, me neither. Oh, I'm glad the hectic gift buying is done, and that the crowds will be thinning out at the stores...well, as soon as they finish returning the presents they didn't like. And I'm glad those "Happy Holidays" advertisements are gone. But I hate the day when the Christmas lights are taken down. It means Christmas is truly over for another year.

In old England, they celebrated Christmas for 12 days, between December 25 and January 5 (as in the song, "The 12 Days of Christmas"), and that festival is still observed in some places. Imagine having to buy gifts for that many separate Christmas days every year! I'd certainly run out of ideas by the third or fourth day!

But our celebration as Christians isn't centered on the presents or the parties, enjoyable as those are. It's centered on the Prince of Peace. God in human form, the visible, tangible representation of God's love for us. That's what gives meaning to this time of year.

You see, without Christ there would be no reason to celebrate. We would still be bowed down with the weight of our own sins, and without a remedy to make us clean enough to stand before God. Because the baby we come to adore every year grew up to be the man who was nailed to the cross for our sake. I never celebrate Christmas, when God's salvation was made visible, without looking toward Easter, when God's salvation was completed.

As the angel said: "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:10-14) Their words should be our song every day of the year.

So forgive me if I hang on just a little longer to the tree, and the lights, and the carols. They're just a reminder for me of the One we worship. The One to whom we owe our salvation. The One who loved us while we were yet sinners.

So just one more time...Merry Christmas

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days

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