Good morning and Happy New Year 🙂
It is that time – my Sunday article for The News Tribune (Tacoma) is due to be published this morning, so that is what you will see below. To God be the glory!
Merry 10th day of Christmas (on this 3rd day of January) and Happy New Year. I hope and pray that you had a wonderful Christmas, even amid this pandemic, and I also hope and pray that your 2021 will be filled with joy and peace; a joy and peace that only comes through Jesus Christ our Lord. But let us get back to Christmas, because it is still Christmas, at least for my family and me.
On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me — I am just kidding — I am not going to sing. On the 4th day of Christmas (December 28) my wife and I finally got the kids away from their toys and went for a drive to look at Christmas lights. Normally at this time, we are in the Midwest and in Arizona celebrating Christmas with our families. This year, due to the pandemic, we had to stay home but decided we would make the most of it. Our HOA and many neighborhoods around us had such wonderful Christmas light displays. So, during the time before Christmas, we spent many nights going for family walks to enjoy the lights. Now we thought we could enjoy these lights even longer.
As we toured our HOA we quickly noticed how dark it looked. Many homes had already taken down their lights or just did not turn them on. Some houses that had a Christmas tree prominently displayed in their front window had taken those down as well. We continued driving and only found a small sampling of Christmas lights. We went to another neighborhood and found the same thing. Some of our favorite displays were gone for the year. It almost felt like someone was trying to rip Christmas from our hands. For us, the festive lights were a reprieve from our pandemic-filled world. Now, it felt like darkness was trying to regain its grip. I did not like the feeling and neither did my wife. When we returned home, we noticed that half of our lights on our house were not on. “What is going on?” we thought. Thankfully, it was an easy fix and now our home is lit up again, and it will stay lit up through January 5 (the 12th day of Christmas).
Yes, the day on our calendars labeled “Christmas Day” has now passed, but Christmas is never done. The promises are not something you pack away. The light that came on that first Christmas cannot be extinguished. And more importantly, the darkness will never, ever regain its grip, for the light of the world, Jesus, has defeated the darkness and reigns on high.
Yes, the day will come when I will turn off my lights and pack them away. Our tree will come down and the decorations will be neatly stowed in their tubs. But Jesus lives and so will I. Jesus lives, and so you can too. Christmas is not over. It is never, ever over. So, I am keeping the Christmas lights on and the tree up, but more importantly I will cling to Jesus – lights or no lights. Merry Christmas, today and always. Amen.