When I removed the Christmas decorations, packed them and put them back in their old place, I told myself that I could finally return to normal. Whatever that normality may be. Once somebody told me that normalcy is just a function on the tumble dryer and I suspect that most people think this is true.
Should we go back to normal after Christmas? Can we go back on the path that we were after experiencing Jesus? His birth touches us with the majesty that God became one of us by giving up His glory and place with the Father to live as a human being as we are. He ate, drank and slept (Philippians 2). He made himself a vulnerable, helpless baby who needed his parents to guide him safely through childhood.
During his ministry, he gave us an insight into the power he possessed by healing people, calming the stormy seas, feeding the multitudes, and even raising the dead. He also showed us his soulful, loving side, by showing charity to the people who had been rejected by society.
We are touched when we walk his ordeal, which he courageously and trusting in his father to his fate, death on the cross. I get tears in my eyes when I think of loving care for his mother and praying for forgiveness for those responsible for his death. He sent us the Holy Spirit to forever encourage, help and inspire us. He did not leave us alone and we are daily comforted and strengthened by his presence. Jesus calls us to Him as we are, but He does not want us to stay that way. One of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to make us a new creation. Unlike the ones we have been before we were renewed by him. In 2. Corinthians 5,17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has passed, behold, something new has become. "
We can - and many people do the same - continue to think and live after hearing the story of Jesus with His Hope-giving Life. As we do so, we may deny him access to the most intimate part of our heart, just as we are likely to keep a casual acquaintance, friend or even spouse away from our innermost thoughts and feelings. It is possible to block the Holy Spirit and keep him at a distance. He will allow it sooner than to force our way.
But the advice of Paul in Romans 12,2 is that we let him change us by renewing our minds. This can only happen if we give God our whole life: our sleeping, eating, going to work, our everyday life. To receive what God does for us is the best we can do for him. If we turn our attention to him, we are transformed from the inside to the outside. Not like the society around us, which keeps trying to pull us down to the level of immaturity, but God brings out the best in us and develops maturity in us.
If we change our lives through Christ, we will behave like Peter and John, who amazed the rulers, elders, scholars in Jerusalem, and the people. These simple men became brave and sovereign defenders of the faith because they were spiritually one with Jesus (Acts 4). For them and for us, once we come into contact with His grace, we cannot come back to normal.
by Tammy Tkach