What to do now that Christmas is over? The birth of Jesus has been celebrated. Presents have been given. Presents have been received. Guests have come and gone. Or maybe you’ve gone and returned from your own Christmas travels. What to do now?
Let’s take our cue from Mary and Joseph. Their journey with Jesus had just begun. So what did they do after the humble birth of the Son of God? Mary and Joseph put their full trust in God for their baby Jesus and for their own lives. And they obeyed God’s Word as it was revealed in the Law of Moses and as it was spoken to them by angels.
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” – Luke 2:21-24
Mary and Joseph were far from their Nazareth home when Mary gave birth to our Messiah Jesus in Bethlehem. They had obeyed the decree issued by Caesar Augustus that required them, along with all the occupied people of the region, to register for the census in their families’ hometowns. God used even the orders of a pagan emperor to ensure the fulfillment of His Word given through the prophet Micah:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” – Micah 5:2
God’s Word matters. Mary and Joseph knew that.
As faithful followers of the Lord and as people who trusted in God’s Word given to them, both through the Law of Moses and through angel visitations, Mary and Joseph obeyed God. In trust and obedience, they had their baby boy circumcised on the eighth day and gave Him the name Jesus – just as the angel had already proclaimed His name should be. Then, also according to the Law of the Lord, Mary and Joseph, after the completion of the forty day purification period, took Jesus from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to consecrate him to the Lord.
So, what to do after the celebrations have stopped? What to do after the crowds are gone? What to do when our lives start going back to our daily-day routines? The question really is: What to do with Jesus? The answer is, as it has always been with regards to our Lord: Trust and obey God’s loving, good, holy and faithful Word. And God’s Word is Jesus! As we follow Jesus, our lives will have more joy, purpose and peace – right in the midst of our daily-days, in times of celebration, in times of crisis and in times of sorrow – than we could ever experience on our own, and far more than we could ever imagine!
What to do now? Let the Lord lead our lives!