|Theme:||The REAL Christmas is never over. 2nd Sunday after Christmas|
|Object:||A trash bag filled with used wrapping paper and empty boxes.|
|Scripture:||Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent,nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. John 1:12-13 (NIV)|
This is the second Sunday after Christmas. It has been hardly more than a week since we were celebrating, opening gifts, and eating a huge Christmas dinner. What is left of the Christmas celebration? A trash bag full of used wrapping paper and empty boxes. The Christmas tree and all the decorations have been taken down and stored in the attic for another year. Christmas is over and our lives have returned to normal. It is back to work for the adults and back to school for the children. Yes, Christmas is over -- at least for another year.
Wait! Is it really over? Is that all there is to Christmas? Is it just a time for parties, giving gifts to friends and family, and a brief period of "Peace on earth, good will toward men?" Surely there is more to it than that.
Our Bible readings today reveal the true meaning of Christmas. The Bible says that, "The Word became flesh and came to live among us." The "Word" that the Bible is talking about is Jesus. He came, full of unfailing love, and we have seen his glory. We have seen the glory of God's only begotten Son.
What did you get for Christmas? No doubt you received some toys and clothes, but the most important gift any of us received was Jesus who came to earth as a gift from God. To those who receive him and believe in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.
Jesus came to the world, but many did not recognize him. For those who do not know the Savior, Christmas is over. But for those of us who received the gift of the Father, Christmas goes on all year long.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your love and for the gift of your Son, for it is through that gift that we also become your children. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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