WHAT HAPPENS AFTER CHRISTMAS?
MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: 360 days till Christmas!
What happens after Christmas?
- sounds, lights, music of Christmas are over
- decorations put away in boxes/tubs in the garage/attic
- programs, company parties and gift exchanges completed
- memories captured in pictures, videos... all in storage, on FB,
* the hardest thing to part with after Christmas? HALLMARK
CHRISTMAS MOVIES! (Cry - LOL)
AND WE RETURN TO SAME work routines, school routines, school
routines & demands !!!!
What was it like for those involved in the true first Christmas?
- WISE MEN: months long journey back to the east; believers?
Influence their pagan cultures? Die for their new God, faith?
- SHEPHERDS: back to the care of 100's of smelly, needy sheep, 24/7
back to their last level status in society, disregarded yet necessary.
- BETHLEHEM: small town, pop. 1,000 - swelled to maybe 20,000
during the census - now sounds and looks empty, back to
but WHAT WAS IT LIKE AFTER CHRISTMAS FOR JOSEPH & MARY & JESUS??
- what happens in detail in Jesus’ earlier life wasn’t the emphasis
- summarizes between Bethlehem birth and then step onto
manhood, baptism and public ministry
Matthew 2:13-23 - MORE DETAIL OF IMMEDIATELY AFTER
- Joseph: God directed him in dreams
Dream > receive Mary carrying Christ child
...Wise Men came worshiped the CHILD
...they live in Bethlehem until Jesus 1-2 yrs old
VV.13-18 Dream > go to Egypt
...ironic...once held Israel as slaves now protects their
...FULFILLS Hosea 11:1 - happens next!
...Herod angry deceived by Wise Men...kills all Bethlehem
males 2 & under (total about 20)
...FULFILLS Jer. 31:15
VV. 19-20 Dream > go back to Israel
... V. 22 - Archeleaus > more insane than father - killed 3,000
- dad dies, divides kingdom into 3 parts among sons
- Jews hated him - revolted during Passover - kills 3,000 Jews
- poor ruler - Rome ousted him, exiled to France
...settles in Galilee, small town 70 mi. NE of Jerusalem
- independent spirit - small closely knit village
- near 2 major travel/trade routes (Jesus would have
seen all types of people)
- disliked by most Israelites > poor unimportant
“other side of the tracks”
..That reputation remained w/Jesus most of His life
.. Hometown later rejected Him - where He
proclaimed His divinity (almost killed Him then!)
***** V. 23 > NO direct mention of this in any OT
- “prophets” - mentioned in general sense in Is./Jer./Zech./Ps.
—> lowliness, humility, poor, rejected, despised,
victim of prejudice & racism
Observation > prophecies continued to be fulfilled in Jesus, even as a
baby and toddler!!!
Christmas wasn’t over, back to routines of before, to be repeated again in
1. Life is to be forever altered by Christmas.
Their lives forever altered by it, or rather, by the living Christ of
Christmas = never to be the same
- we repeat what historically truly came to be
BUT Christmas should always alter our lives forever!
- not a thrill for a day or few days then back to the old life
BUT permanent relationship status w/Jesus as Lord
2. The center of our lives - every day - should be Jesus.
The center of their lives was forever Jesus, moment-by-moment.
- once you’ve seen Him, heard Him, learned from Him - it takes
you into a new direction.
SEE 1 JOHN 1:1-14
1 John 1:1-4 (NKJV)
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have
seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have
handled, concerning the Word of life . . . we declare to you, that you also
may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father
and with His Son Jesus Christ . . . that your joy may be full.”
[DISCIPLES: we were eyewitnesses of Him, changed by Him, and He will
do the same for you when you do too!]
** one way to look at what abiding in Jesus is(John 15), it is
keeping Him the center of your thoughts, decisions, beliefs,
actions, behavior, dreams, work, finances, generosity, service
and everything else.
3. His direction is what we should only follow and obey always.
- God’s choice of communication/direction w/Joseph: DREAMS
... dreams/angels instructions always aligned w/written word
—> God will never direct you to do something contrary to
His written Word
- HIS WRITTEN WORD - primary tool of instruction & direction
...confirmed thro inner spirit (confidence - feel it), through the
local church/godly counsel of spiritual leadership/mentor,
- May seem crazy, contrary to all you’ve ever know or been know to believe and say before Jesus - but
obey Him no matter the cost is all we are expected to do!
Will this Christmas be forgotten like the others?
- will you continue on as always? Or be further changed by Him?
Will this Christmas be the One where you finally turn to Him and believe and follow? EXTRA/ALTERNATE
1. The best place to be is always where Jesus is.
- they were protected but lived in scary times
- they were poor but provided for
^* the gifts of the wise men likely supported them for years
until their life stabilized in Nazareth and Joseph could return to
his trade as a builder.
...they were at peace (content) with the place and provision God
gave them (never safe “enough of this! Then Rambo-ed their
way out; fought ot be richer etc”)
2. The best thing to do is always what God says to do.
- they were led by dreams (that were led by the prophecies)
God will never lead you to do something that does not
agree with His written Word.
Wise Men - pagans also obeyed God’s direction!
3. The only One to truly trust to come through in the end is the Lord.