Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas - Before & After!

Over the next 6 days counting down to Christmas, we'll be reflecting upon this wonderful season!

(Yesterday's post)

As I was thinking about the Christmas story in light of what I shared yesterday, I had a thought.

This is how the typical Christmas season goes about:

Thanksgiving comes and passes.

Oh, gotta start thinking about presents.

The decorations don't look right.

Rush rush rush to prepare for the big day.

Oh no! We didn't make enough X, Y, or Z.

Christmas cards are going to be late as usual.

Why bother sending them?

Christmas is in less than a week and I'm not ready!

Christmas Eve you get primped and polished for a candlelight service.

Rush home and make sure everything is perfect.

Christmas day!

Day after Christmas cleaning.

And it's over.


Back to your humdrum lives.

As I was thinking about this, I started thinking about Christmas, before and after.

Before Christmas, we wait in anticipation; after Christmas, we look around and think, "Now what?" 

The Israelites waited years.

Since the beginning of time, for the Messiah. 

He was the promised one, who'd save them from their sins. 

He was first mentioned in Genesis 3:14-15.

The stage is set, now they wait in anticipation!

Years pass.

Prophecies are written about Him.

In Genesis 49:10, we learn He will be from the tribe of Judah.

In Psalm 2:7, we discover He is the Son.

In Isaiah 7:14, He is called Emmanuel, which means "God with us".

In Isaiah 9:6-7, yet again we discover He is the Son, and that he is the heir of David's throne.

Micah 5:2 (ESV)
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.

And then, on that special night, the Savior was born! 

After years of waiting, the Messiah had come!

And this is where our thinking stops.

Christmas is here, and then it ends.

But the story doesn't end there!!

Luke 2:8-20 (ESV)
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christthe Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,

    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
And that's not the only thing that happened afterwards!

Matthew 2 tells us of Wise Men that came to worship Him!
Christmas doesn't end when Jesus is born, and it doesn't end when Christmas day is over.

Take time to discover what happened before and after Christmas!

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