NOW WHAT? The day after is here. Christmas day is over in America. The garbage can is full. The leftovers are in the refrigerator. The sales, refunds, exchanges, and crowds are in the stores. For many it is back to work as usual. Or maybe you have the rest of the week off. The relatives are still sleeping, maybe in every square inch of your house. What to do with all this stuff may enter your mind as a valid question. And if you have children, well that is a whole different situation and I wish you well. Many people will suffer an after Christmas let down. Some will be despondent over the bills they know are coming in the mail. And even Jesus and his parents in the not too distant future after His birth at Bethlehem would have to flee Bethlehem and go to Egypt. So how should we face the post-Christmas days?
May I suggest you shift gears from the birth of Jesus to the rest of the life of Jesus and how we should live until we celebrate His birth in a special way again next December. This is not to rush past what we have been celebrating in December but rather looking at how to celebrate His presence living in us each day. Paul, in writing to the Christians at Philippi said this, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV). Jesus, the King born at Bethlehem, lived as a humble servant among people and was obedient to God the Father even to the act of dying on the cross. Isn’t that really what Christmas is all about in the end? It is about God coming to us, to live among us and teach us how to live for Him in this world, and to pay the penalty for our sins so we could live forever with Him. Should the followers of Christ who have received His great Christmas gift not live just like Jesus did?
Until next Christmas and beyond, if Jesus should delay His coming, do we not have the answer to, “Now What?” We should clean up our wrappings and other related items from Christmas and get about God’s business of walking as Jesus walked and living as Jesus lived. And in this coming year, starting today, if God sends us into “Egypt”, wherever that may be or whatever that might be, let us model Jesus and remember the outcome of His life. “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV). The results of Jesus’ life are awesome and should excite us about following His example. After all we are going to rule and reign with Him.