Updated: Jan 3
December 26, 2021
December 26th brings a myriad of emotions. I am one of those persons that greatly enjoys this season, you know the type, I decorate early and listen to Christmas music throughout the year. Thus, when the day after Christmas comes it causes me to feel a bit sad. But I have pondered this as of late. What is the after effect of Christmas? If we focus on the meaning of Christmas, Jesus, this advent season ending should have an after effect, but not one of sadness.
After that first advent, or Christmas as we might call it, there was an after effect on some individuals in this passage, the shepherds. I realize that others had a lasting impression from this occurrence. But I want to focus on the shepherds. Luke 2 records the Angel of the Lord appearing to the shepherds and bringing the “good news of great joy.”
Luke 2:15-20 “So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [f]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
Testify: The shepherds told everyone they encountered about Jesus. The good news was made “widely known.” Not to add or detract from the text, but it is safe to say that this news spread like “wildfire.” We read of this encounter over 2000 years later, so the testimony of the shepherds was a lasting effect of that first advent. After their Christmas experience the shepherds testified. The lasting effect was a message that could not be contained.
Praise: The shepherds returned to their place of labor, what we might consider the mundane job, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard. After the visit to the Christ-child, returning to the fields might have been a disappointment. But the shepherds were praising God for a Savior had come. The shepherds experienced a lasting effect from the encounter with Jesus!
Application: For those of us that feel a bit disappointed because Christmas has come and gone, that is because we are looking at it from a cultural and earthly perspective. Family, food, and gifts are a part of this culture’s Christmas experience. There is nothing wrong with those things if we keep them in perspective. But in the eternal realm, spiritual view of things, Jesus is eternal, and He leaves a lasting effect. Christmas Day has come and gone, that is merely time, but Jesus and the gift He brings is eternal. After Christmas Day, I can still testify of His goodness. I can praise Him because although Christmas day has come and gone, Jesus is still Lord, and I am still redeemed! Yes friends, there is a lasting effect of Jesus after Christmas!
Dr. Brian Monehan