We’ve all either experienced or seen others live through a sense of sadness to see the Christmas season come to an end, to have to take down the lights, trees, Christmas deco.
Many may find themselves wondering, What’s next? What do I look forward to or get excited about now?
This post is for you or for the person who may feel this way, especially in a time like this, when so many were looking forward to finding a spirit of joy after the year we’ve had.
We can remind each other that this Christmas joy and spirit don’t have to come to an end. We can seek it out and live in it all year long.
How can we manage this?
1. Keep Your Hallelujah Praise Fresh
The angels clearly modeled for us how to respond to the miraculous birth of Jesus.
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.Luke 2: 10-14
For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
We just celebrated God’s birth! Let that sink in just a bit. There is a God of the universe who created all things. Nothing exists without Him. You and I don’t breathe without Him. Contemplate that there was actually a day in history, not that long ago (relatively speaking), when God was born into flesh, where He became man as a baby, keeping His divine nature while assuming human nature.
That is astounding and wonderful, and the angels knew it. How did they respond? They, or “a multitude of the heavenly host,” make a gesture of praise after this generous and loving act, singing Hallelujah!
We can follow their lead by thanking and praising God for this wonderful, amazing, and generous event. We know that He did this for us. He is a good and big God and He is deserving of all praise. If we want to continue the Christmas joy and spirit we find during the Christmas season, we can praise Him for bringing about the birth of His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. And we can do it all the time, every day even.
Thank you, God! Hallelujah! We praise you, God! You are so good!
2. Be Grateful
There are so many things to be grateful for. For one, we’ve all probably just opened up a few gifts. They were either lavish or simple. What matters is that someone who loves us and cares for us took the time to do something special to show us their love.
This might have been a time where we participated in warm, loving, and boisterous family and friend celebrations. Yes, COVID might have made things a little different; however, to whatever degree and fashion we were able to celebrate with our loved ones, that makes us blessed.
And again, we can be grateful that we are loved by a God who sent His Son into the world to be born for us!
3. Live out “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the daybreak from high will visit us, to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.Luke 1: 78 – 79
Now that it’s all said and done, we can begin to celebrate. The savior has come! He will
wipe away our tears and renew our hope for the truth that we are loved, and we are not alone. O Come, O Come Emmanuel. God is with us. He dwells in our midst. He comes to us and seeks to breathe into us anew and do new things in our lives.
It is such a beautiful song, and we can sing it all year long. O Come, Emmanuel, because God truly is always with us.
4. Pray and Live from Victory, Not for Victory
I recently attended a conference where someone shared this idea of a declaration he was
proclaiming over his life, that we pray from victory, not for victory. It makes sense. God came, died, and defeated death. He won eternal salvation for us and He reigns in all glory. The battle was fought and Christ was victorious. This is the power and authority we’ve inherited as adopted sons and daughters of God. We are on the team that has already won!
So – when we pray, petition, or seek, we can know that we come from a place of A BIG WIN. A place of victory!
5. Bear and Live out the Gifts of God
Jesus has entered the atmosphere of the world and our lives anew in His birth. He has come to us in the gift of Himself, pouring out His love in His birth. With His coming and birth, He brings us joy, peace, love, light, hope, and more.
Any material gifts we might have received from our loved ones where gifts that ultimately came from the goodness of God.
How do we live out this gifting? We have received so much and we’ve all heard the famous Scripture passage, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Luke 12:48
We’ve received many gifts. What does it look like for you to live as someone who has received so much, who has received EVERYTHING, even? Because we know Jesus is EVERYTHING.
6. Ask for and Expect MORE Gifts from God
Just because the Christmas season will eventually come to an end doesn’t mean we should stop anticipating the great gifts of the season, things like hope, joy, peace, harmony, and warmth. These are great goods we can find all the days of our life. I recently heard a priest share the wisdom that every day God is working countless miracles in our life and that we just have to develop the spiritual eyes to recognize it. How true this is! When we wake up in the morning, it is a miracle of God. Almost everything that happens after that moment in our day is a miracle.
The gifts keep coming. And the more we recognize them and find gratitude for them, the more disposed we will be to expect and ask God for more gifts. God is our father and loves it when we can see, honor, and bask in His goodness. How much joy we must bring Him when we sit at His feet, feeling the warmth of His love, and looking up at His tender face, asking, “Father, can I please have some more?”
7. Remember – It Was All about Being Loved to Begin With
As wonderful as all the details of the holiday season are and make us feel, God will continue to pull us into a deeper lesson of meaning and love. Mother Teresa puts in plainly –
“We must know that we have been created for greater things…We have been created in order to love and to be loved.”
There are so many good things in the world. Everything good ultimately comes from God. My cappuccinos are so, so good! And salsa dancing, what a gift and a joy!
Can we live without these good things? Throughout our lives, God may challenge and strip us to understand that we can. Even though we might push past the Christmas season and all the joy and warmth it naturally brings, we will always have everything we really need to find joy and peace in the heart of God.
8. Create an Atmosphere Pleasing and Open to the Holy Spirit
Now that the Christmas deco has left the outside and inside of our home, what kind of adornment will we bring into the house? I’ve recently started to pay more attention into the kinds of things I let into my home. If I want a house that feels bright, positive, and peaceful, I probably need to cultivate a space that is life-giving. There are likely many ways to go about this. Some things to reflect on are:
What kind of language will be spoken in my home?
What kind of relationships will be fostered in my home?
What kind of time will be spent in my home?
What kind of worship will take place in my home?
What kind of entertainment & music will play in my home?
What kind of charity & mercy will be fostered in my home?
9. Consider This Next Chapter a New Adventure! Take a New, Bold Step with Jesus
We’re in the season of something new. A baby was born to give birth to a new hope for us and the world. What does this mean for you? What could it mean for you?
Allow yourself to become still for five to ten minutes. Think about the excitement of the next life chapter ahead of you and how it was kicked off by the birth of God who came to be born for YOU. It is so clear. God loves you, came for you, and wants to do something new with you. Will you let Him?
Where do you think He is leading you to grow in this new chapter? Say yes to the adventure and take a bold new step with Him by your side!