Most, if not all of us, experience a letdown after Christmas. Certainly, the season often inspires feelings of warmth, joy, and belonging. But for some, this time of the year can evoke feelings of loneliness, stress, and anxiety. Add the unusual stresses of 2020, and I believe we all understand to one degree or another that the holiday blues is a real phenomenon.
In Matthew West’s song Day After Christmas, he writes:
Here comes the letdown Christmas is over
Here comes the meltdown, there goes the cheer
But before we have a breakdown, let us remember
The light of the world is still here
It is easy to allow the letdown of the coming and going of Christmas’s celebration to persuade us that we have to wait until next year to experience the seasonal joy. However, the real reason for the season, Jesus Christ, came with a purpose that is further reaching than any day or season.
God created us to live in relationship with Him and radiate His glory. We have been created to know Him and make Him known. The problem is that we have all sinned and have fallen short of His glory. We all deserve the wage of sin, which is death. Yet, due to God’s extravagant love for us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to provide for us the way for eternal life. Real life, eternal life, and hope and joy for even today are gifts for all who will trust in Christ as Savior and Lord. Jesus did not come to give us a holiday, but real life as His children.
In his gospel, John writes that the true light came into the world for an eternal purpose that impacts all who receive Him today. We read: “To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn 1:12-13). This is the first reference in the Book of John to the new birth. John writes of those who “receive” Christ. This image, receive, is the first John uses to define “believe.” Those who receive Christ, who believe, are given something spectacular.
We are offered a gift in Christ. If you do not see a gift held out to you, or if you see it but do not accept it as real, you won’t stretch out your hand to take it. Believing in Jesus involves seeing Him presented as God’s Son, accepting that description as real, and simply stretching out your hand to accept God’s gift of eternal life. You then become what you were not: “a child of God.”
Anyone who has received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is a child of God. Many people wrongly believe that everyone is a child of God. Since human beings are created in God’s image (Gen 1:27). Aren’t we all His children? The Bible says no. Every single person is God’s creation and loved by Him, but we only become His children when we are adopted by Him (Eph 1:5; Rom 8:15).
The child of God is made right with the Lord and given access to Him and His abundant provisions. These provisions are not to be thought of as merely material, but also emotional and spiritual. For instance, Christ is present in our heartache. His love is true and power available to His children. Christ came because we need Him. We all need Him for our salvation and to live a genuinely abundant life. Christ did not come to save those who walk in perfect faithfulness, who are strong, and always stable. Christ came to give the unfaithful, weak, and unstable hope.
I like how Matthew West’s ends his song Day After Christmas:
Happy day after Christmas
And merry rest of the year
Even when Christmas is over
The light of the world is still here
Wherever you find yourself today, know that the light of the world is still here. We are called to receive Him! If you have yet to receive Christ, won’t you do so right now? Those who receive Him are children of God. They are indwelt by His Spirit and offered His provisions for their wellbeing! If you have received Christ, won’t you take a moment and meditate on what it means that you are a child of God?
Being a child of God does not make us immune to hurts, habits, or hang-ups. It doesn’t mean that we won’t deal with let downs and perhaps meltdowns. But, it does mean that He is present and offering to walk with us in all the highs and lows of life, leading us to a place where we walk in the freedom He has granted us, filled with His peace joy. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!