Summary: Christmas is over, now we begin a new year, but let's not forget the Christmas joy and spirit through the new year.

Year Round Christmas

Matthew 2:1-12

January 6, 2013

It was a few days after Christmas. A family was busy cleaning up the Christmas mess and putting everything away. As they took down the Christmas tree, the son asked “what are you doing?” The parents said, “We’re putting all our Christmas stuff away.”

He asked, “Why are you doing that?” She answered, “So everything will be back to normal again.” The boy said, “I don't want things to get back to normal again.”

On this second Sunday after Christmas, many of us have that thought too, Christmas is over — let’s pack everything up and bring out our Valentine’s decorations. But, I think we rush away from it too quickly, we do too good a job at cleaning up after Christmas, and we run the risk of removing it from our lives.

What if 12 days after Christmas we could keep life from getting back to normal again? What if we could really hang onto Christmas and take it with us into the good days ahead of us in 2013?

I want to suggest that we can do just that. By that, I don’t mean everything is going to be perfect, or always go our way. Nor do I mean we will be able to escape the same routine, the same schedule, the same responsibilities, we had before Christmas. Nor to keep our Christmas trees up year round.

But, I wonder if there is that happy medium, maybe even more than that because there should be something different about us, because we’ve been able to see a star of wonder, to hear the angels sing, to hear the cry of a babe, and have our hearts strangely warmed because God came to us.

Today, I want to look at the story of the visit of the Magi, a visit of some Wise Men from the east – – who came searching for Jesus.

Traditionally, the church has remembered the visit of the Magi, twelve days after Christmas, on the day of Epiphany (which means “ a sudden and great revelation.”) Listen now to the words of Matthew ~

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.

8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

These men came into Jerusalem looking for a king, but they met another king who immediately felt threatened when he found out what they were doing. Herod became suspicious of them and this new king and began to plot the death of any who would threaten his kingdom. The Wise Men came to give their devotion to the new king and wouldn’t be turned aside. They were focused on finding the King.

In our world today, there is still a lot of suspicion and skepticism. It can poison relationships, goals, noble-endeavors, groups, and ideals. In that darkness, we can’t allow the light of Christ to be extinguished.

Hang onto the light of Christ as we move further away from Christmas.

As you put the Christmas decorations away, maybe take a little longer and hold onto the memories. Usually we don’t think about the memories so soon after Christmas, but take the time to remember. Maybe write them down, take them out as the year moves on. Maybe read the Christmas story in the Spring.

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