Behold, I make all things new.”

So said God our Lord from his throne in heaven, and so we can believe it is so. He alone has the authority to make the promise and the power to fulfill it.

Newness is a consequence of Christmas. It’s what we’re celebrating for a day, an octave, twelve days, and a season. 

I can remember the wishes of my friends when we were growing up. They ached for Christmas to come so they could get their deepest desire: crazy-expensive sneakers, sports equipment, a BB gun, you name it. Their Advent season was as heartfelt as Israel’s. Think of all the Psalms and all the oracles of the Prophets that ring with the phrase, “How long?

Maybe my friends didn’t have their hearts set on a goal as lofty as Israel’s. But maybe sometimes they did. Israel begged God for all kinds of things they didn’t really need — like a king. God gave them one anyway, and he turned out to be a doozy. 

The thing is: the Israelites tired of their kings. They even tired of the Messiah they had pleaded for. 

Come to think of it, my friends tired of their amazing sneakers, too, and their sports equipment, and whatever other baubles they unwrapped after the never-ending wait every December.

Let’s not allow that to happen to us this year. I’m not talking about the gifts. We should be grateful for those and see them for what they are: outward signs of the love someone has for us. If we return the love, the gift will have done its job, and it won’t grow old so quickly.

Jesus is the great gift of the season, and he makes all other gifts new.  See him in every gift you open. Pray to him for every giver. Let the gifts be your daily reminders.

And don’t let Christmas end so soon. Live the Octave. Live the Twelve Days. Live the season, which lasts until mid-January! Keep the decorations up this year. 

Be like Jesus. And make it new.