Evening, December 25, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.” — Job 1:5
What the patriarch did early in the morning, after the family festivities, it will be well for the believer to do for himself before he rests tonight. Amid the cheerfulness of household gatherings it is easy to slide into sinful levity, and to forget our affirmed character as Christians. It ought not to be so, but so it is, that our days of feasting are very seldom days of sanctified enjoyment, but too frequently degenerate into unhallowed mirth. There is a way of joy as pure and sanctifying as though one bathed in the rivers of Eden: holy gratitude should be quite as purifying an element as grief. Alas! For our poor hearts, that facts prove that the house of mourning is better for us than the house of feasting. Come, believer, in what have you sinned today? Have you been forgetful of your high calling? Have you been just like others in careless words and indiscreet speech? Then confess the sin, and look to the sacrifice. The sacrifice sanctifies. The precious blood of the slain Lamb removes the guilt, and purges away the defilement of our sins of ignorance and carelessness. This is the best ending of a Christmas day–to wash anew in the cleansing fountain. Believer, come to this sacrifice continually; if it is so good tonight, it is good every night. To live at the altar is the privilege of the royal priesthood; to them sin, great as it is, is nevertheless no cause for despair, since they draw near yet again to the sin-atoning sacrifice, and their conscience is purged from dead works.
Gladly I close this festive day,
Grasping the altar’s hallow’d horn;
My slips and faults are washed away,
The Lamb has all my trespass borne.