Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Post Christmas Let-Down

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of they salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51: 10-12).

For weeks we've been planning for Christmas. We hung lights, decked the tree with colorful ornaments, baked cookies, shopped, wrapped gifts, attended parties and excitedly awaited Christmas. The joy of sitting next to family and friends in church on Christmas Eve and singing Christmas hymns reminded us of the miracle that took place over 2000 years ago when our Savior was born.

Now, a week later, we begin cleaning up and putting away. The trash bins are stuffed with wrapping paper, boxes and ribbons. The needles on the tree are dry and dropping and soon, it will be taken down as well. School will resume again shortly, or we'll return to work and life will go back to normal. It is hard not to experience a sense of let-down after the hustle and bustle of Christmas. What now? For some of us, winter will continue its cold presence for another 4 months. What happened to all the joy and laughter that came with the Christmas season? Why can't the thrill and excitement just continue?

How do we retain the joy that we felt at Christmas when the mundane takes over once again? We can fix our eyes on Jesus by making time for Him. It will require discipline to find quiet time to read Scripture and reflect on what we read. Furthermore, we connect with our Savior when we interact with Him in prayer.

As you go about your daily tasks, think about what you are thankful for, and ask God to restore your joy.  Remember that He, through His sacrifice on the cross, created a clean heart in you and me. Jesus will renew a right Spirit in us if we submit our lives to Him. He won't cast us away but will intimately relate with us if we seek His presence. Christ can restore our joy with His Spirit:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 
Cast me not away from your presence
And take not your holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51: 10-12)

As we enter the new year, I remind you and me to make a habit of spending time with God so that we experience joy in His presence.

Dear God,
I have so much to be thankful for. You died that I might be blameless in Your sight. Help me to make time for You in the new year. Open my heart to learn from Your Word and renew my focus on Your promises so that I find joy in Your presence. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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