In my family, the weekend after Christmas we would all get our assignments from dad on what we needed to clean up and begin doing the work of stripping off any evidence of Christmas from the house. There were five kids so this was a strategic military operation to get everyone cleaning up their appropriate part. One year when I was about ten and my brother 13, my dad decided to save some time getting the tree out back so we could burn it; instead of taking the long way to the backyard, he drug the tree out onto the back porch, picked it up above his head and threw it as far as he could into the backyard.
Now, as a 10 year old, watching this 8 foot tree with tinsel still attached go flying off the back porch and into your backyard where it completed a few somersaults before finding its resting place what seemed like 100 yards from the original throw, was about one of the coolest things I had ever seen. My brother and I were both amazed by the flying tree incident and my dad could tell. I think just to keep us interested in working my dad said to my older brother, “next year you can throw the tree of the porch.” For years after that day, the throwing of the tree became a rotating tradition amongst our family.
But, as soon as Christmas is over, there is no more throwing things over the back porch. Once we celebrate Christmas, life around the house gets back to normal. Once we have our candlelight service at Church, we take down all the Christmas items and service gets back to normal. Everything has its proper place that we have given it.
Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted.”
The cliché for a post-Christmas sermon is to say, “don’t forget about Christmas all year long.” Well… since it is my first year, allow me this cliché: Don’t forget about our adoption (as Paul put it in Galatians) that was made possible through the giving of the Christ child on Christmas.
While it isn’t appropriate to throw things over the back porch every day like we do around Christmas with the Christmas tree, maybe every so often we should throw something over the porch just to remind ourselves of that blessed gift we remember each Christmas. So this year, all year long, I encourage you to remember those Christmas traditions, what they stand for and enjoy your adoption into God’s family made possible by the giving of his Son.