Christmas is over. If you’re like me, that’s sad news. I love Christmas and look forward to it every year. When the holiday ends and the focus shifts to New Years, it can be easy to literally move on and not think about Christmas until next November/December. But I want to invite you to dive deeper into why we celebrate Christmas so that it starts to affect your everyday life after December 26th.
The angel of the Lord quotes Isaiah in Matthew 1:23 as he reveals God’s plan to Joseph:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).”
Jesus is God with us. And while Jesus grew up and later ascended into heaven, He then sent the Spirit to be with us. God the Son came to us and secured salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. God the Spirit is now with us to keep us until the end. God is still with us. The Spirit in us aids our communion with Jesus through prayer and God’s word and God’s people. This is a monumental reality that we can’t forget.
Keeping up and encouraging us
If we neglect to carry the fact that God is still with us into the New Year, we are starting and planning and hoping from a wrong place. God is with us still. When Christ ascended after His death, resurrection and defeat of our sins, He sent the Spirit of God to be with us until we reach eternity. He is still with us. How blessed are we that God is with us, keeping us and encouraging us daily in our walk with Him.
So when Christmas comes, may it be a reminder of His presence. And when the holiday concludes, may the Lord keep His presence on the forefront of our hearts and minds so much so that we approach New Years differently than the world around us. Let’s plan and pray and think and hope with the presence and glory of God in full view.
How will you plan differently if you think about God and His plan for you this coming year? How will your hopes for 2023 be informed and even possibly challenged if you first dwell on God’s word and then pray over the coming year?
If you’re like me, slowing down and refocusing on God’s presence changes everything. Let’s do that at the end of 2022 and pray for a more Spirit-filled 2023.