I've been thinking a lot about Boxing Day. What an odd name for a day. I wondered how it came to be called that. Turns out, no one really knows for sure how "Boxing Day" got its' name. Some think it dates back to the 10th century and "Good King Wenceslas", who was Duke of Bohemia. He was moved to compassion by a peasant gathering wood and boxed up food and supplies to give to the peasant. Another possible origin might be the Church of England which collected funds in boxes which were broken open on December 26th and used to help the poor. Still another possibility is that historically, the aristocracy would give gifts to their servants the day after Christmas as a sort of annual bonus. (Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1868711,00.html#ixzz2GGfO3JU7)
Which is correct? I don't know. Neither does Time Magazine whose article is referenced above but one thing I do know is that there's very little resemblance to any of these in our consumer driven culture. We tend to use it as a day to shop and indulge our wants. Sometimes we use it as a day to box up the lights and ornaments that we've used to decorate our homes and tree, but I fear it has become a day when we box up Jesus and return Him to the shelf until next year.
You see, there is still an element of society that remembers that Christmas is supposed to celebrate Jesus' birth but we forget (or don't slow down enough to think) that He came to earth to be our Lord and Savior, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings! Don't we need a Savior every day? Just five minutes of the news and we are forcibly reminded how desperately we need peace! This is the gift of God to us. Sin and evil surround us. Let's face it, there's enough of that in us. Christ came to save us from our sins. If we looked to live as Jesus did, wouldn't we have more peace? But it's not going to happen if we box Him up - out of sight and out of mind - ready to live 2013 as we want. It's not even going to happen if we pay God's gift lipservice over the next 12 months or take Him and leave Him at our whim. No, it's only going to happen if we allow Christ to be King over our lives!
It's been challenging me these last 24 hours. As I set goals for 2013 and think about what's important, as I take out my daytimer and consider how I will spend my time, or my budget and how I will spend my money, will I make Him King?
I pray that I will. I've tasted and seen that God is good. His mercy and grace are fathomless and His love defies description! Yes, I pray that I will. It's going to take practice - surrendering my stubborn will to His which is infinitely better. I'm going to fall short, sin, stumble - but I will not box Him up! Never! The gift is too priceless! What about you? What will you do?