As I began my early morning walk, the sun began to rise. Its brilliant light sparkled the frost on everything and lit the ice on a pond. It illuminated the still visible crescent moon. The Christmas yard decorations slowly shed their shadows and gradually appeared. Soon, they would be taken down and stored for the next holiday season. They spoke of the joy, the mirth, the gaiety of Christmas just past. Yet, it was still The Twelve Days of Christmas I thought, the 10th day to be precise. Christmas is not over. Christ-mas, Christ’s birth. God with us. Immanuel is always!
He has come to us and He will return. C. S. Lewis wrote of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe that it was “always winter and never Christmas” as long as the White Witch ruled. Until Aslan came. Then, the Witch’s control wanes as His Presence grows and the snow begins to melt and the land becomes green again. K. Chesterton wrote in The New Jerusalem, that “Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate.” For the lost, the hurting, the sinking and the seeking.
"Yes," I thought, "Christ is a winter fire," as I passed each house praying for those inside. Praying that they would waken to the rising sun, The Rising Son. That they would see Him in glimpses of His creation, in remembered joys and festivities, in greetings and gatherings of family and friends, in carols and kindnesses. That Truth would stir their hearts and increase their longing. And, that their hearts would warm to the gospel kindling that is shared by those of us who keep Christmas all year long. May this fresh New Year of 2024 challenge us to liberally share the joy and certain hope of Immanuel, our Jesus.