It was in 1983 that President Ronald Reagan first signed a bill designating the birthday…
By President Lenny Favara
With Christmas Day behind us and a New Year just opening up before us, I have noticed that my travels through town have become a little darker lately. Literally – darker. That is because the Christmas lights, some of which have been up since early November due to COVID, are slowing coming down or are no longer illuminating windows and doors.
According to the Church Calendar, Christmas (the season) began on Christmas Day and is supposed to last beyond New Year’s, until Jan 5th. Taking this perspective, it is the time between Christmas and January 5th that should be the most resplendent and brilliant – the most illuminated and joyous. For it is in this period that we are called to celebrate the wonderful gift of Christ.
However, for most of us, the glimmer and gleam of Christmas began to dissipate as the torn-up remnants of wrapping paper and bows made their way to the trash bin. Though the Christmas Crèche may remain under the tree, the Christmas crash defines most of our lives between Christmas Day and New Year’s.
While a few of us may have fortified ourselves to remain awake to engage in New Year festivities, most of us (if you are like me) just slept our way from one epoch into the new. Now, we all begin to look toward Monday – the real beginning of a new year – the real end of the Christmas season. This is the day we report back to jobs, or perhaps, like so many affected by COVID – the absence of jobs.
Like the darkened streets I now travel, the celebration and merriment of Christmas seems to have dimmed into a somber acceptance that Christmas is now over and it’s a long time until it comes again.
If this is true for you, let me encourage you with a passage of Scripture that has always reminded me of the infinite presence of Christmas in my day-to-day life.
Psalm 118:24, tells us, “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
This passage provides a differing perspective, challenging us to look beyond calendars and seasons. It exhorts us to disregard the patterns of this world that ignite a blip of joy each holiday season, which is then followed by a flat-lined procession of days and months until Christmas again appears.
If God’s mercies are new every morning, and each day is a day made by God – given by God, then should not our joy be no less than any other day? Why choose to allow the degree of our praise to be dictated by the course of the calendar?
God’s strength does not waver. God’s presence does not diminish. God’s dominion does not falter. Each day is a day in which God is present and palpable – if we choose to recognize it.
This reality should illuminate our every waking moment, causing each day to be a Holy Day – a holiday, a reason to deck the halls and pronounce tidings of comfort and joy, providing us the opportunity to engage the merriment of the moment.
As the New Year emerges before us, I would encourage you to carry over the joy of the Christmas season, recognizing the liberty we have to celebrate even in the absence of a ritual or holiday. Let the knowledge of God’s blessed presence intoxicate your heart and mind each and every day. Celebrate today for what it is – it is the day that the Lord has made!
ABOUT CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS
Central Christian College of Kansas is a four-year collegiate institution that strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person through four core characteristics: heart, soul, mind, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central, go to centralchristian.edu/about. Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.