The birthday party is over.

You know how it goes, especially those of you with young children at home. The party was a very exciting time, full of music and crowds and gifts. But now the celebration is over, leaving new toys to be put away, dishes to be washed, garbage to be collected and floors to be vacuumed. It was an awesome event; but that was yesterday. Today is all about returning to familiar routines and patterns while the memory of yesterday fades, not to return until a year from now.

Christmas, the big birthday party for Jesus, is over.

Now while it may seem to feel exactly the same as a birthday party for one of our kids, there is a strong and lingering sense that the birthday of Jesus Christ is different. There appears to be something more to His birthday, something ongoing that generates a continual celebration. While the world goes about cleaning up the mess and getting back to business as normal, the children of God are able to experience so much more.

After all the activity of angelic choirs, adoring shepherds and gift-bearing kings, the life of Mary, Joseph and Jesus got a lot more quiet – however, it was anything but routine and familiar. Jesus was not just another baby…He was Emmanuel, God with them. And He would be with them tomorrow and next week and next year.

At Avalon Church we continue to “party” because we anticipate another great year where many more folks will experience the real and present Jesus who continues to heal the brokenhearted and set the prisoners free

The party is over – but today we celebrate the wondrous news that the glory of Christmas does not need to fade!

Just a quick admin note to remind you that any end of year gifts need to be postmarked Wednesday, December 31 in order to qualify as a tax deduction for 2014. Deepest thanks to all of you who gave so generously this year!