“The shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen,
which were just as they had been told.”
Luke 2:20 (NIV)
In his famous classic A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) had the ghost of Christmas present say to Scrooge that Christians do not celebrate Christmas one day of the year but every day. It does not matter what we think of the writings of Dickens, we recognize that he spoke the truth when he suggested that the Christmas spirit lasts all year for believers.
Dickens’s view of Christianity was unorthodox in many respects, but he had a great love for the underprivileged and championed their cause as a highly skilled and successful writer. His character Scrooge sought happiness in wealth and instead became a very miserable friendless person, though wealthy. The poor, in the story of Scrooge, were the truly happy people.
In the New Testament—written originally in Greek—there are many Greek words for joy and many appearances of these words. The teaching of Christianity is therefore a story of great joy and celebration.
The Jewish people, from whose faith Christianity comes, are a people who have always loved to party. Various festivals are celebrated in the Tanakh, the Jewish holy book, known to Christians as the Old Testament.
Yet, many Christians have a sense of letdown the day after Christmas. All of the excitement for so many people concerning Christmas is bound up in one day. They have lost the truth that Jesus’ coming is to bring joy every day of the year.
As you relax today and reflect on the festivities of yesterday, do you carry the happiness of Christmas day into the present? Do you experience Christmas Day every day?
If you do not, then you have missed the real point of it all. Our celebration of Christ’s coming may peak one day of the year but the wonder, amazement and joy of God with us (Matthew 1:23) should be a reality all 365 days of the year.
The wonderful carols announcing the coming of Christ ought to be played all year round as we cultivate the spirit of Christmas every day. Christianity is a religion that can be practiced all through the year as we love one another in the spirit of Christ (James 1:25-27; Matthew 22:37-40)
In the New Year why not plan to have Christmas Day every day?