“I can’t believe Christmas is over,” my dejected daughter said.
I know how she feels: The aftermath of Christmas can feel dreary. Presents have been opened. The tree and lights must come down. Listless January—and, for many, the need to shed holiday pounds—awaits. Christmas—and the breathless anticipation that comes with it—suddenly feels eons away.
A few years ago, as we were putting Christmas stuff away, I realized, No matter what the calendar says, we’re always one day closer to the next Christmas. It’s become something I say frequently.
But far more important than our temporal celebration of Christmas is the spiritual reality behind it: the salvation Jesus brought into our world and our hope for His return. Scripture talks repeatedly about watching, waiting, and longing for Christ’s second coming. I love what Paul says in Philippians 3:15–21. He contrasts the world’s way of living—with “minds set on earthly things” (v. 19)—with a lifestyle shaped by hope in Jesus’ return: “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 20).
The reality that our “citizenship is in heaven” changes everything, including what we hope for and how we live. That hope is fortified by the knowledge that with every passing day, we are indeed one day closer to Jesus’ return.