Year-’round Yuletide

So Christmas has come and gone. Or has it?

Every time our two-year-old granddaughter comes to our house, she seeks out two things in particular. In a child-sized rocking chair she finds a stuffed bear waiting in unrelenting hope for the eager embrace of two outstretched arms and one wide-open heart. What child wouldn’t hasten toward one so soft and warm and unflinchingly loyal? Abigail’s other must-do, however, is a little less intuitive. With her fuzzy friend in tow, she opens a cabinet door and pulls out the basket of Easter eggs we store there year-around. March or April—or June, August, Thanksgiving or New Year’s, for that matter, it makes no difference—every day is an Easter celebration as far as Abigail is concerned.

Our little friend doesn’t realize the profundity of her play, for every day truly is Easter: Christ is always risen from the dead, and His Spirit lives forever in all who entrust their mortal lives to His immortal one. The same can be said for Christmas, for God has fulfilled His promise of Immanuel (which means “God with us”): in Christ, God has come to us forever, and He will never leave us. “If anyone loves me,” instructed Jesus on the night in which He would be betrayed, “he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). And before ascending into heaven weeks later, Jesus assured His followers, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Then surely every day is Christmas. God’s promises of His Messiah are forever fulfilled, so our comfort in Him is complete. “God with us” is eternal, so the joy of the Yuletide is always ours if we stop long enough to savor it.

So today and every day, may you have a very Merry Christmas. And a Happy Easter, too!

God, send your Spirit to me this day, that I would trust your promises and live in the peace of their fulfillment. Grace me to bring your comfort and your joy to those around me today. Amen.

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