The first few days after Christmas I find myself staring into the aftermath of what just happened in much the same way that the disciples must have stared into heaven after the ascension: the trash can is overflowing (again), the toy my daughter got is too loud (thanks mom), and the tree is turning brown. My stomach is full, football is on, and I am too lazy to get up from the couch.
Too often the church exists in this sort of stupor, also. Jesus has come, and we have gorged ourselves on the birthday cake. We are fat with our own salvation while the shelves in the pantry stay bare, the widower’s phone does not ring, and our neighbors need Christ. But, those are either someone else’s jobs, or they will have to wait until tomorrow: we’ve been immobilized by the blessings of Christ’s coming.
Christmas was only God’s first full advent into this world, but it won’t be his last. As Christians, we live between two advents, not just after one. Because of the first coming of Christ, we live ready for his second. And that means that we must be “busy about the Father’s business.” The men in Acts warn us also: this Jesus will come again.
Living in the wake of Christmas ought to mean for us busy, urgent, loving service to our church and to our world, and if we are complacent then it means we have misunderstood Christmas. Love has come, yes, but not for us only. Love has come, but there are many around us who live their lives unaware of what this truly means, and you and I have only until Love’s return to tell them. Because Christ has come, today is the day of salvation, and if you are already saved, then today is the day you are called to take salvation to another. Today, let us be up and doing, busy, serving, loving one another until he comes.