Christmas. Is. Over.
I spent twelve years working in retail, both in a mom-and-pop and large stores. Christmas meant long hours, cranky customers, and avoiding being trampled on Black Friday.
I don’t miss the retail rush of holiday gift-giving. Somehow squabbling over Tickle-Me-Elmo never made me think more highly of the birth of Jesus.
Because of the hectic pace of the holidays, I always looked forward to the day after Christmas as much as Christmas day. As we took a deep breath and removed decorations after Christmas each year, my boss always said, “Christmas. Is. Over.”
The good news is that when God became man that first Christmas day, it wasn’t the end of redemption for the human race, but just the beginning.
Reason for Hope
That first Christmas day, people were largely in the dark about God’s redemptive plans through Christ. They had prophecies and promises, but didn’t know what it all meant. The human race stood unwittingly poised on the edge of redemption, yet their sinful situation had still not been remedied.
Imagine if that had been where the story had ended. Imagine if the Christmas season, the coming of God as a baby, had been extended indefinitely throughout the ages.
No cross. No sacrifice for sins. No atonement. No forgiveness. No adoption. No resurrection. No hope.
That’s why I say that the best part began when Christmas ended.
The baby grew up. The promise became reality. The child in the manger became the Savior on the cross. The infant of Bethlehem became the hope of the hope a fallen world. And the humble carpenter took his rightful place at the right hand of the Father “waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet” (Heb. 10:13).
Christ or Christmas?
Now that’s a message I can get excited about! In order for the triumphant truth of victory to become reality, Christmas—as important as it was—had to end. We now live in that glorious reality because, (you guessed it!) Christmas. Is. Over.
As we celebrate the coming of our Savior in this season, let’s put our focus on what He finished more than on what He began. Sure, the peaceful babe in swaddling clothes makes for a better mantelpiece than a bloody cross, but it’s the empty tomb that forever reminds us that Christmas is over. The debt is paid. The Spirit has come. Praise God for it!
Jesus did not leave us longing for rest. He did what He was sent to do. He accomplished that brief but essential stage of His eternal mission. Now He’s moved on to a different phase, one in which He reigns as King of Kings while no longer calling me a stranger, but His friend.
Christmas. Is. Over.
And I, for one, am abundantly glad.