Monday, December 26, 2011


Christmas Day.

The Aftermath.

Do you feel like I do after a rather frantic pre-lim, followed by a full day of family, fun, and food? (Lots and lots of food??)

A little tired, a little worn out – truth be told, a little let down.

There's so much excitement building up to Christmas Day. There's the decorating and gift-getting, the buying of the tree and hanging of ornaments, the marketing and cooking and baking.

And then, before you know it – The Day arrives.

Eating and talking, eating and opening gifts, eating and watching television, eating and napping – and whatever else your family does traditionally!

But, I always feel a little disappointed when it's all over. Did everyone get along and have a good time? Did everyone get enough to eat? Did everybody like the presents I gave? Did everything measure up to my expectations?

Sometimes, things fall flat – I've had years when sickness stole some of the joy, and when family tension cut into the fun. I've had years when someone didn't receive that special gift, and when the Lakers lost…

I'm chagrined to admit this – but the Norman Rockwell picture I have in my mind of the *perfect* Christmas Day sometimes ends up looking like a Picasso.


This year was quiet and enjoyable. And I was grateful to be able to share the day with my boys and "The Hub."

But, after the day is done, I am wistful and a bit sad. It's ALL. OVER. AND. DONE.

I got to pondering about this…(seems that I like to ponder over a lot of stuff, huh?!)

Wasn't the first Christmas Day like this, too?

The prophets had predicted the coming of the Messiah for centuries. The nation of Israel had suffered under slavery, oppression, conquest, and exile. The Jews had groaned forever, it seemed – as they longed and looked for their Deliverer.

The one who would rescue them from it all.

And then, it's time – and God performed a miracle. He became a human.

Except, for most of the world, most of humanity, The Day was more like any other day. It wasn't ushered in with trumpet blasts and angels surrounding the world in a loud chorus. There weren't crazy earthquakes or darkened skies – there wasn't a coronation, or even a christening.

There was just a manger – and a baby wrapped in cloths.

A letdown.

No hoopla, no hero, no high and mighty king.

Jesus didn't measure up to expectations.

People didn't even know about Him – the HIM, with a capital "H" – for years. And even then, when Jesus began His ministry, most people were angered or disappointed or apathetic.

I take a look at my own life.

Does Jesus disappoint me? Does He let me down?

What about when the casks of water stay water, instead of turning into wine?

What about when the storm is not stilled, and the waves just get bigger and stronger?

What about when the healing doesn't come, or the prodigal doesn't return home, or the net doesn't burst with too many fish to count?

What about then?

Does Jesus disappoint me? Does He let me down?

Truth? – Sometimes He does.

He does when I make Him into my own image. When I try to shape Him and mold Him to make Him fit into my life. When I squeeze Him in among all the "important" things that I do. When I look for something from Him, in my way and my timing.

He does when I neglect to know Him as He really is.

The REAL Jesus is the unpredictable, the surprising, the mysterious – the out-of-the-box Savior.

You see, when it comes to Jesus, you have to know Him really know HIM – underneath the selfish definitions you might come up with. Because He doesn't fit when we compare Him to our expectations.

But when you truly open your heart to JESUS – hold on to your hat!

He's like a heavenly optical illusion.

Look at those swaddling clothsthey're really the robes of a King. The lowly manger was really a throne room. Look closely – baby fingers and toes were one day destined to receive nails for the sins of mankind. Unfocused eyes had once, and would again, behold the glory of the Almighty God the Father face to face.

The promised Messiah had truly arrived. The Deliverer that the world really needed – not just the temporary ruler they were looking for.


You know, the more I think about it, the Aftermath of Christmas Day is what it's all about. Everything that happened AFTER. Like the cross and the resurrection…

And the truth of the matter is this – Jesus really doesn't disappoint. It's me.

Thinking I want more from Him, I settle for less of HIM. Thinking I want to do more for Him, I settle for less of HIM. Thinking I need this and that right now, I settle for less of HIM.

Trying to wrap Jesus up in cloths that I have made to swaddle Him – I end up binding the King.

Oh dear Lord Jesus, how I just want more of You in my heart and life. I do not wish to limit You, I do not wish to fit You into my expectations.

Surprise me, disturb me, challenge me, whittle me.

Make me into something worthy of a King.

How do you handle the aftermath of Christmas Day? Are you letting yourself be disappointed with Jesus?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Hi Sharon -

    You expressed, "You know, the more I think about it, the Aftermath of Christmas Day is what it's all about. Everything that happened AFTER. Like the cross and the resurrection…"

    Amen to that!

    Because He lives, we live...

  2. A timely word on this day after. I hadn't really thought about it in this manner.

  3. Well, I've been physically ill for the last few days, only getting worse. I can't help but think that all the stress of pre-Christmas craziness added to this sickness. Accordingly, I didn't really enjoy yesterday and am ready to move into better health and normalcy in coming days. I'm thinking about your thoughts here and especially resonate with the idea of "now what?" What was it like for Mary and Joseph after those initial days of celebration? The real work was about to begin--the real work of living life with the truth... the Truth... and trying to reconcile generations of scripture and prophecy with the current realities.

    And I thought I had parenting issues. Can you even imagine? There are so many days when I feel like I'm hitting a brick wall in my life of faith... confused, torn up on the inside wondering what life is all about. It helps me to consider this "confusing" time in Mary & Joseph's life. Talk about a blended family!

    Much to consider here, Sharon. A good pondering for my heart this morning.

    Merry Christmas today and every day.


  4. Joy to you, Sharon, in the aftermath of the Christmas day - though I believe in celebrating Christmas EVERY day! Been keeping away from the computer - of else all that was on my place to accomplish for home and family would never get done! I was wrapping up til the last minute before all the young adults arrived for the Christmas Eve party at our house - then it was all hands on deck for food and setting - Christmas morning was all about our church family - our last service in the building as we're moving into new digs this week! What a miracle! And, then right from church to family dinner - nonstop, it would seem - all the month long. I'm glad for a down day. Nothing on the calendar. No expectations at all. Praise God for that - for in our no expectations, the Lord is sure to surpass with His Grace in our lives no matter what.

    Hope you enjoyed all your hoopla and family. Much to look forward to this year - may we all know His health and wholeness to accomplish that which He sets before us for His glory!

    Writing to you from Constellation Academy - YOU are one of the first I've put us on our blog reading list!

    Much love and joy!

  5. Blessings Sharon, No Letdown for me in the After... only looking upward and onward for MORE of Him! So definitely no settling for less of Him either.

    Perhaps because I had no hype build up... just me doing all I can to celebrate Him, not just on that day but every day! I will leave all as it is for a couple of weeks still maybe even longer...

    However I love all your pondering and appreciate your honest vulnerability!
    I especially like this "...Aftermath of Christmas Day is what it's all about. Everything that happened AFTER. Like the cross and the resurrection…" so this is what I hold on to and look forward to each day, celebrating the REAL GIFT HE IS to me... and the depth of such love... ohhh and the part of what He exchanged... the "heavenly optical illusion" part... Glorious! He is my Deliverer and Savior every day not just Christmas Day! I'm thankful for HIS PRESENCE! and blessed by your inspirational thoughts and enthusiasm!

    But this TRUTH... is mine also...
    "And the truth of the matter is this – Jesus really doesn't disappoint. It's me." Yes, I think I've left that place of thinking about how Jesus disappointed me... and realize that it is I who disappoints Him and myself!
    Well thought out and written... thanks,
    sending love, blessings and prayersXO

  6. Oh my goodness Sharon - good thoughts today. And to tell you the truth I am so tired. sandie

  7. Merry Christmas Sharon!

    Yes, I too, feel a let down after the Christmas holiday is over and done. This is probably my favorite time of year when you get to see family and friends and rest a bit from the everyday grind. But resting in Jesus helps me a lot. May you and your family continue to have a blessed week and new year celebration. Hop on over and visit me. Talk to you soon.


  8. Well you hit the nail on te head for me, Sharon! It was just the word I needed, and just the thoughts that helped. I also had a let down after all the kids and grandkids left, and the glow seemed to leave too. But how I love the words you've shared here, and how they lifted my own heart!


  9. Well Sharon - we are thinking along the same lines...after Christmas let down. However, the story didn't end in the manger, it was the beginning. Thinking about that helps me with those after Christmas blues.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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