I wonder how you might be feeling now that Christmas is fast becoming a distant memory and the credit card bills are on their way? A few years ago we gave my youngest daughter a gift for Christmas – she tore off the wrapping paper to reveal a large colourful box, which she opened… to reveal another smaller box… which she opened to reveal yet another box… which she opened to reveal nothing! Her face fell at the sudden realization that the boxes were the present and that there was nothing more exciting inside.
Christmas can be like that for many of us – we look forward to the parties, the decorations, the food and drink, the time with friends and family, and we believe the adverts with their promise that as long as we have all the right things, we will enjoy the perfect Christmas. But then the reality fails to live up to the hype and we are left disappointed. For all the excitement there remains an emptiness, and now all we have look forward to is a wet, dark January!
But maybe that sense of disappointment is a sign that there could have been more of substance at the heart of our Christmas, that the human heart and soul does long to be truly satisfied, and that maybe the Jesus whose birth we sidelined in our celebrations is the answer to that longing.