The Day After

Written the day after Christmas 2010 for worship services at Earlham Church of Christ.

It is the day after. A lot of things happen the day after. If something bad happens in our country or our state then it is printed in newspapers the day after it happened.

When someone dies we have so much work to get done, we have to make arrangements for visitation and for a funeral and we plug along and then the day after the funeral comes and reality begins to shift. Life seems quieter, at least by one voice and one laugh, and it’s noticeable. A lot of things happen the day after.

If you have a big fight with a loved one, a spouse, a boyfriend a girlfriend you have all those emotions and all that self righteousness built up in you and then you go to bed that night and wake up the next day, and well, it’s the day after. Reality has shifted as hearts have softened or hearts have hardened, but nothing stays the same. Relationships are terminally broken or are waiting to be mended. A lot of things happen on the day after.

On Thanksgiving we enjoy the gluttony of the massive feast that friends and family bring together and prepare and we eat until we are satisfied and then we eat some more. And we go to bed happy and we wake up and it’s the day after. The day after Thanksgiving is well, black Friday and so we begin a season of gluttonous spending on toys and presents and gifts and trinkets and widgets and goodies we have planned for all year long. And the day after Thanksgiving has kicked started Christmas and for a month nothing is the same.

Christmas Eve comes and lots of excitement fills the air and candle light services take place and anticipation fills our hearts and so we go to bed and arise early and it is Christmas. We celebrate families and friends and gift giving and receiving and we celebrate the birthday of Jesus and the day after for all of eternity has never been the same. Hope, love, peace and joy has been injected into the world in a way that God is certain will bring His people to Himself. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

The day after Christmas is, well, just the day after Christmas. But in the larger scheme of things the days and months and years after the birth of Jesus bring about a lot of change and a lot of opportunity and they lead us toward, well, a funeral. 33 years of hope fall to 24 hours of despair and the day after His death, nothing happens and the reality takes deeper root and the next day after, nothing and the next well, we all know the story. Three days after that death there is a resurrection of life that begins a new promise, inserts a new power, and forges a new path.

And so this morning, this day after, we sit around this table to remember all that has happened in the preceding days. We look back. We examine today and check our hearts. But we also look at tomorrow, the next day after and we plan and plot and pray and we thank God that we do not worship a buried Lord and Savior but a risen Lord and Savior. And we take hope in His resurrection; not only for ourselves, but for all those we love. And so, on this day after Christmas, the birth of our Savior, let us not forget His death and let us especially not forget his promise that when we sit around this table we sit with Him and we look forward to the next day and the day after that as we live as His people, full of hope, love, joy and promise.

It is the day after. A lot of things happen the day after.