The day after Christmas.
We don’t like to think about it as we plan for the big day tomorrow. But it always follows Christmas. Every year.
December 26th can feel like a deflated balloon after the most special of birthday parties.
Depression or regret can start to take root, and I want to consume more dessert (for breakfast) as my focus shifts to goals for the new year.
Reading Luke 2 this year left me wondering what the day after Jesus’s birth was like for those that witnessed firsthand this blessed miracle. Let’s put ourselves in the place of each of the main characters for just a moment:
The shepherds are visited by an angel and told the Savior of the world has been born. God had sent the angel to tell them to go find Him. The God of the Universe broke through the cosmos and the social barriers of the day to tell these lowly-status men Great News . . . and invite them to see it firsthand. They saw the Army of Angels praising God! Then, off to see the Savior of the World.
Mary was recovering from delivering a baby. Yes, a miracle from the Lord, the One all of eternity had awaited, but still a baby. She had sweat and pushed and cried among the animals on hay. She didn’t have a cute layette to dress Him in but had to wrap him in cloth scraps and put Him in a trough. She watched as the brightest star she had ever seen shone over her son’s manger and strangers began to come and bow before Him. She kept these things in her heart as any young mother would do, making memories in her mind that no camera could truly capture.
Three men traveled from distant lands to see what prophecy had foretold. They were wise and kings in their own regard. But this was what they had studied, charted stars for. They curiously came to see the King of Kings.
Most representations of this scene bring a lump to my throat and tears of joy. How humble and glorious all at the same time! If in a movie, the music crescendos and the credits roll.
But what happened the following morning? What did the day after Jesus’s birth bring?
The shepherds shared this Great Joy with those in town but went back to watching their flocks and working their herds. They went back to work.
Mary was feeding our Lord, changing his cloth diapers and recovering herself. I’m sure Mary and Joseph were exhausted from their journey to Bethlehem and already sleep deprived as new parents quickly become. They were overjoyed by this Miracle that God had given them. I’m sure consumed with thoughts of “What does this mean?” and prayers to be the parents that Jesus needed. Mary and Joseph began raising Jesus.
The wise men returned to their lands to share what they had experienced. I’m sure they ruled their households differently now. They had seen the light and knew the True Glory. Each would be a different king because of that night in the manger. Each returned to their role as wise man and king.
Each of the God-chosen individuals had witnessed The Truth, experienced Jesus for the first time and He had set them free. Free to be. . . to be the person God had created them to be and to live the life, work the role He had placed them in.
Each shared with others their experience, their encounter with Jesus in their own way. Each went to work. Each embraced the role they had been given by The Father of the Christ Child.
We will experience the Savior, Emmanuel & the King of Kings tomorrow. It’s His birthday we’re celebrating.
But on December 26th, how do you live in freedom? To do the work. To share this great joy, Good News you have witnessed and experienced in your own heart?
How will you share with others about your experience with the Christ Child?
What will you do as you go back to work in the fields?
How will you rule in your household differently because you’ve encountered the King of Kings?
Because what we do after the miracle is as important as experiencing the miracle itself.
Kathy @ In Quiet Places says
I think I will do as Mary did in Luke 2:19, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Beth WIlliams says
I feel like Charlie Brown at Christmas. I don’t like all this commercialism. I’ve tried my best to keep Christ in Christmas and remember that it is the birthday of my Savior and Lord.
I will ponder the miracle and try to spread more of it to other throughout the year.
Thanks for a thought provoking post!
Have a blessed Christmas!
Babs C. says
Wow, Stephanie. Through your words, in what you have written, I felt deep calling to deep. Francis Schaeffer’s “How Then Shall We Live?” seemed to rise up from within my soul and echo. Given everything in history that led up to the day of Christ Jesus’ birth and also to consider everything within my own history that leads up to this December 26th, I seem to have a more serious answer this year. Not serious bad, but serious in reverence for God and His plans and recognizing that I desire to be more conscious about whether how I am living each day either points others to experience the Gift of Jesus or may unwittingly deter another person’s path from stepping closer to or going deeper with Christ. How to live after the miracle? I am choosing to live more consciously of Christ and with greater reverence for His purposes.
Thank you for your words of wisdom today. I believe that it is in the ‘every day’, sometimes mundane chores and activities we must do that we can express our love of God. It is through Him that we can put joy into each and every task before us, each and every day. Our ‘To Do’ lists often are overwhelming. But, if we take each task…one at a time…focusing only on that and using the strength of God to accomplish it, we will live the joy that is meant to be for us. This Christmas was a quiet one for us. Our children were far away, and memories of past Christmas times shared were very nostalgic. It’s good to treasure memories, but then go forward in each new day with purpose and thanksgiving. The ‘days after’ are always number more in time and lack the excitement of ‘those special times’ we remember. So, it’s helpful to reflect on previous blessings…but then move on with joy and hard work, striving to be busy with OUR appointed tasks in life. New joys from God will follow!
Thank you for your words of wisdom today. I believe that it is in the ‘every day’, sometimes mundane chores and activities we must do that we can express our love of God. It is through Him that we can put joy into each and every task before us, each and every day. Our ‘To Do’ lists often are overwhelming. But, if we take each task…one at a time…focusing only on that and using the strength of God to accomplish it, we will live the joy that is meant to be for us. This Christmas was a quiet one for us. Our children were far away, and memories of past Christmas times shared were very nostalgic. It’s good to treasure memories, but then go forward in each new day with purpose and thanksgiving. The ‘days after’ always number more in time and lack the excitement of ‘those special times’ we remember. So, it’s helpful to reflect on previous blessings…but then move on with joy and hard work, striving to be busy with OUR appointed tasks in life. New joys from God will follow!
I always enjoy the day after Christmas. It’s time to finally relax, enjoy my gifts and watch others enjoy theirs. Your thought will help me to focus on enjoying the gift of the Christ Child.
The day after a miracle. This year I am thinking more that I like the idea of the 12 days of Christmas.
Today we are just being…life does continue but somehow different.
Thank you so much for sharing this! My husband and I always dread the day after Christmas because we VERY MUCH TREASURE Christmas in our hearts. The WONDERFUL, TRUE MEANING of Christmas!
I will do as so many others have said–continue to TREASURE ALL of this in our hearts!
Its a good topic. It is true that Mary delivered a boy, but also she had a miracle, ide like to note that miracles come without pain and Mary did not feel any pain to recover from because she hasn’t an ordinary delivery. Its good to be poetic sometimes but not in matters of The Bible. In Christ. Merry Christmas.
Maria, I don’t see any biblical foundation for the claim that “miracles come without pain.”
The miracles I’ve personally witnessed (ex: the birth of a child that parents were told they would never have or the survival of a horrific motorcycle accident that should have taken the rider’s life) have been surrounded by a great deal of pain, but that doesn’t make them any less miraculous.
Even beyond physical pain, I don’t see any examples of miracles being strife-free. Looking at the Bible, I can’t imagine that the family of Lazarus didn’t suffer a great deal of grief and emotional pain prior to him being miraculously brought back to life or Noah grieving at the loss of life during the flood.
Yes, I hope Mary was blessed with a quick and smooth delivery, but I wouldn’t be basing my theology on it.