“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…” (Eph 4:22-24)
The holidays are over, and I’ve taken down all the Christmas decorations and put them away for safekeeping until next year. Each year, this ritual leaves me feeling a little sad, but also a little energized. There’s just something about the joy of the Christmas season that makes me want to leave things out as long as possible, but as much as I enjoy the decorations, I want my house back in order even more.
Some of my friends have told me that they leave their decorations up during January so that they actually have time to enjoy them without the busyness that the Christmas season brings. I considered this idea briefly, but there’s something about the act of putting things away and setting things back in order that feels intentional and full of purpose – a physical act that represents leaving the previous year behind and starting anew.
As the new year marches on, I’m reminded that our hope and joy are not found in the trappings of the Christmas season. Instead, as followers of Christ, we find hope and joy in our relationship with Jesus. In him, we aren’t restricted to a time of year to celebrate the hope he brings. Although the stockings may be tucked away for the next eleven months, we can share Jesus’ love with those around us all year long.
Dear Jesus, thank you that our hope and joy are found in you and not in things or a time of year. Help us to share the hope we have in you with others throughout the year. Amen.