At our store the process of tearing down the Christmas and winter displays is under way. I find it interesting that some of the same ones who lamented the early September arrival of Christmas trappings are now somehow sad to see the last remnants of the holidays being discounted out and torn down.
In many stores the transformation is taking place as Valentine candy and green shamrock candles are appearing on the shelves.
Post holiday angst. Why? I think in part — no matter if you are a believer or not — it is that something inside us all that longs for a savior. The unbelieving world tries to wrap the holiday in all the commercial trappings and the “religious neutral” language — but bottom line is that we still see our Christmas Eve services filled with those who hadn’t been in church since last winter, the TV shows still include the references to Jesus and his birth, the holiday still takes on a certain “reverence” in almost every corner…….
….and we feel a sense of loss when it ends.
In 1670, Blaise Pascal published Pensees, which was a defense of the Christian religion. (It should be noted that this book was published after his death in 1662.)
In that book, he has a quote:
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”
– Blaise Pascal, Pensees
Since then, the concept has taken on a life of it’s own and the phrase has been found throughout many Christian circles. (Recently, in 2002, a book was published with the title ‘God Shaped Hole’.)
We all know — at the deepest level — there is something more. That there is much more to life than just the “here and now”. Humans are the only creatures on earth with a sense of eternity — for that matter — with a sense of future in the sense of planning and scheming and betterment. Some creatures store for the coming winter — but not with any sense of building wealth or building a future life.
That “BLAH” feeling may be your soul lamenting that Jesus is once again being relegated to Sunday mornings and the occasional civic religion experience.
What can you do to make Jesus a integral part of every day — even the cold and frigid days of January?