Summary: Three things from Christmas that give us hope.
“After Christmas – Then What?”
December 26, 2010
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Christmas is over. Wrapping litters the floor. The kitchen sink is piled high with Christmas dinner dishes. The kids are already breaking some of the new toys. Things are back to normal – right?
Well, not exactly. Things will never be quite the same again - because in the City of David a Savior was born. Things will never be the same again. That magnificent, world changing, happy event is over. In its wake is a let down. The angels are gone. The shepherds have returned to their sheep. The wise men are sneaking home – headed toward where the sun rises. And maybe that is a sign in itself. The event isn’t over. They are not riding into the sunset. They are headed for a new day! But at our house, the Christmas tree is drying out and the fridge is crowded with leftovers.
Depression, discouragement, worry, anxiety, dread, fear – it is all there. We are concerned because of the work to restore the house to normal. Mary was concerned that the king may find them and kill her baby. We are anxious about our coming bills – Joseph and Mary were anxious about settling in a new country. We are discouraged because Christmas wasn’t quite what we had hoped for. Joseph and Mary are discouraged because this event changed their lives. New home, new country – family gone, good thing they got that gold from the Wisemen to pay the bills. We look ahead and see a fist full of bills – and it concerns us. They looked ahead and saw a cross – and it concerned them.
Now what do we do? Well, we just keep on living. We take each day one at a time. We face each obstacle one at a time. And we seize the hope of Christmas. Because of Christmas – we have hope. I’m talking about ‘biblical’ hope. I remember someone commenting in a community meeting one time, that they had the ‘hope of eternal life’. One of the next speakers, showing his ignorance, says, “I don’t ‘hope’ I have eternal life – I KNOW!’.
Well, that sounded good. But hope is not a wish. Hope is an expectation. Specifically, hope is the trusting expectation that God will keep His Word. Hope is trust. Hope is expectation. Because of Christmas we have the expectation of certain things.
First of all, we have hope of Salvation. The angel said,