Our family loves the Christmas season—we love to decorate, eat fancy meals, watch Christmas movies, and (my favorite) pour a splash of homemade eggnog in our coffee (don’t knock it till you try it!). For many, Christmas can be a kind of high; a time when we are filled with joy and comfort as we take in the lights, smells, and the bells of the season. But what do you do when the eggnog wears off and the jingle bells stop ringing?
If we remember that Christmas is really about the birth of the Saviour, and not the presents and parties, then we are able to enjoy day-to-day life in the comfort of our salvation in Jesus Christ.
The God who came to us in Christ was born in very humble circumstances. With all respect to the familiar carol, it was not a silent night—there were loud cries and animals making noise as Mary labored to deliver the Saviour of the world. It was a messy, dirty, draining, and in a very important sense, an ordinary night of childbirth.
This is good news—we are reminded at Bethlehem that God is not only the God of the extraordinary and great times of celebration and joy, but he is also the God of the messy and the mundane. He is the God of ordinary life.
Life after Christmas can be (and often is) just that—messy, mundane, and ordinary. We box up the ornaments, throw out the wrapping paper, and go back to work and school. But even in the commonplace days that follow the parties, there is real joy and peace available to us as we look to Christ each day and seek to find our ultimate contentment in Him. The Christ who was born of Mary has been raised from the dead and is even now ruling and reigning at the right hand of God for the sake of his church.
True joy and peace on earth are proclaimed not only on Christmas, but each ordinary Sunday as the gospel is preached and the sacraments are administered. Through the ordinary Word, bread and wine, Christ does extraordinary things by the Holy Spirit, and remind his people, “Lo, I am with you, even until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).