Almost every year we hear the Christmas story told (which is a great thing), but, do we ever read on?
Luke 2 is an amazing chapter detailing God’s coming to earth in human flesh: the birth of Jesus. Each year we read of shepherds, we read of angels, we read of Jesus being named Jesus, we even flick back to Matthew 2 to see the wise men coming…then we’re done.
But, there is some fascinating stuff in the rest of Luke 2.
Jesus is presented at the temple (not too dissimilar to the baby dedications we do at church), and we read a little about the childhood of our Lord.
One verse in particular stood out to me as I read over the story again recently:
“…the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favour of God was upon him”.
Particularly the first half, the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. How apt is that for us this time of year? We prepare to celebrate Jesus’ first coming then we quickly go back to our daily business…We tick over into a new year and return to what is ‘normal’ for us.
Especially given how this last couple of years has gone, isn’t it time to find a new ‘normal’?
Rather, how we ought to follow the example of Jesus – growing, becoming stronger, becoming filled with wisdom.
If He can lay aside, temporarily, His heavenly glory and dwell among us to show us The Way surely we can rouse ourselves to grow in our faith this coming year.
Surely we can become stronger in our faith, stronger in service, stronger in love, stronger in our relationships this coming year, and surely we should be seeking the wisdom that God gives so freely to those who ask this coming year.
Jesus’ story didn’t end after the angels, shepherds, and wise men went back to doing what they were doing. Likewise, our Christmas story that we replay each and every year is not finished by the morning of the 26th. Rather, it should be the catalyst for growth, for change, and for pushing ahead towards the upward call of God in Jesus.
This year then, how are you going to take the attitude of Christmas beyond the 25th?