Isaiah 63:7-9 – I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, "Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely"; and he became their savior in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. (NRSV)
What do we do the morning after? The morning after the celebration of Christmas, that is. We spend so much time in the anticipatory mode that we don't really know what to do with the morning after. When we wake on the other side of Christmas, what is waiting for us?
Let's focus on our life on the other side of Christmas.
Isaiah says it succinctly: When we wake on the other side of Christmas, on the other side of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, on the other side of "God with us", we enter a story that we can make our own. So, Isaiah says, "I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord." There! We can go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Jesus Christ is born! That's what we can do the morning after! God has blessed us with the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem — every knee must bow, every tongue must confess that Jesus is Lord. The story must be told "of all that the Lord has done for us". Not only God's love, not only God's grace, but also God's mercy has been shown to us. While we were yet lost, Christ came in the cradle and continued to the cross — all for us and for our salvation. That's why Isaiah goes on to speak of how God has become Saviour, in all our distress. I love how Isaiah continues his thought and actually concludes it by saying that this is no messenger, this is no angel, but this is the very presence of God that saves us. So, God redeems us and lifts us up, and we are God's chosen forevermore.
There: that's what we do the morning after.
Prayer: Lord, help us to turn this poem, The Work of Christmas by Howard Thurman, into our prayer and our song: "When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among the people, to make music in the heart." Amen.
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Listen while you read: "A Little Child The Saviour Came" (Lyrics)