shadows and substance

"The Christmas blues and the Christmas hangover both happen when unbridled expectations slam into reality. They happen any time we build up an expectation for something that it can’t possibly meet. We have plenty of help building these expectations—radio, television, Pinterest and people’s perfectly filtered Instagram posts all feed our inflated idea of what the Christmas holiday can deliver. They paint the picture that our loneliness will be turned into joy and that the gift we want so badly will ultimately satisfy...

... feasts and festivals are good, but they’re just a shadow of the greater truth of Christ. They’re not the substance, He is. You can’t get your arms around a shadow. You can’t be comforted by a shadow. It takes the substance to do that.
This doesn’t mean that we are not allowed to enjoy the shadow. We don’t need to rail against stockings and lights. We just need to recognize that those things are a shadow. By all means, have fun with the shadow, but ultimately, go after the substance."

Matt Chandler, Substance over Shadows