December 31st, 2004

Holiday Hangovers

December 25th (EVENING)

Ending Christmas

"...when the days of feasting had run their course...Job...would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings...For Job said 'It may be that my sons have sinned.' " Job 1:5

"What the patriarch did early in the morning after the family festivities might be good for us to do before we fall asleep this Christmas Evening (or New Years).

In the midst of family gatherings, it is easy to fall into sinful frivolity and forget our Christian walk. It should not be this way, but our days of feasting are seldom days of sanctified enjoyment. Too generally they degenerate into sinful flippancy.

There is a way of joy as pure and as sanctifying as bathing in the rivers of Eden. Holy gratitude should be as purifying as grief. Unfortunately for our poor hearts, the evidence proves that the house of mourning is more sanctifying than the house of feasting.

Beleiver, in what way have you sinned today? Did you forget your high calling? Have your words been idle and your speech loose? Confess the sin and fly to the sacrifice that sanctifies. The precious blood of the Lamb slain removes the guilt and purges the defilement of our sins and of ignorance and carelessness.

The best ending for a Christmas Day is to wash again in the cleansing fountain. Beleiver, come to this sacrifice continually. If it is good tonight, it is good every night.

Living at the altar is the privilege of the royal priesthood. Sin, as great as it may be, is not a reason to despair. Draw near again to the sin-atoning victim and your conscience will be cleansed from dead works."

Excerpt from Morning And Evening (Charles Spurgeon)

I read this for the first time several years ago and I always think about it around the holidays. Any holiday really. Even knowing that Jesus is the only thing that satisfies in this world doesn't keep me from anticipating the holiday and, in some form or another, casting important things aside to extract the most pleasure I can from it. Financial restraint goes out the window. Devotional life gets spotty. Responsibilties get thrown aside. Job performance is awful. Forgive me Lord. Help me focus on the right things tonight. And tomorrow.