John 14:15-21 “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
I read a meme this morning, “And just like that…Santa is gone until next year…But Jesus is still here with gifts that never end.” Consider this wonderful truth this morning. Oh, I’m not bashing the big man in the red suit. I love Santa Claus and all of the magical things he stands for. I even go to church with a real live Santa who shares the true Christmas story with children throughout the Christmas season. But it’s December 26th now, and old Santa has retired to his vacation home at the North Pole. We won’t see or hear about him until the end of next year. Yes, as Christmas day has drawn to an end, Santa has left us.
Now consider for a moment the period of time after Christ was crucified. The men who lived and walked and learned from Christ must have been quite distressed in the days immediately following His crucifixion. They had fully trusted that this Jesus was who He said He was, and then suddenly, He was gone. Was He who He said He was? Was He the Messiah? Was He God incarnate? Can you imagine their confusion and distress? They watched Him die. He was gone…forever…the One they loved…gone…or so they thought.
In John 14, Jesus tried to explain and prepare the disciples for His bodily departure, but they were clueless. He explained of the Advocate that He would send. He would send the Holy Spirit to live within them…within each of us. The disciples didn’t get it at that moment. They didn’t understand until later after the resurrection, but just imagine the moment when they finally understood!
Yes, my friends, Christmas has come and gone once again. Santa has left us here to pick up the mess following the celebration, but we are not alone. Christ never leaves us. He has always been with us, and He promised that He would never leave us. He has never ever broken a promise. “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Christmas has come and gone, my friends, but Christ hasn’t gone anywhere! He is still here today, and He will always be with us! He will never leave. Recline in that thought today, Peeps!