Let’s play a game shall we? Notice anything lacking in the picture below? (other than lack of focus?? I could blame the camera but it’s most likely user error…)
If you said not one gift is wrapped or nestled under the tree, well you’d be exactly right. That’s how we roll… and by that I mean I’m usually rolling out paper Christmas Eve while “A Christmas Story” loops relentlessly in the background…
I don’t know about you but right now I need a little attitude adjustment before Christmas rolls right over me. I’m not ready in the least. I never really am actually. I have exponentially greater ideas than I ever have time to execute and it tends to make me a little cranky though there’s really no need…
The greatest gift — a baby in a manger — has already been given so no meager offering of mine could ever touch that… Amen?
The Savior- yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David. And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. ~ Luke 2:11-12
And if I’m really in the market to keep Christmas S-I-M-P-L-E this year, well then I should probably refer back to last week’s post annnnd back away slowly from the craft store that beckons me with it’s 60-70% off signs already to take home just one more glittery/shiny/cute bauble to be used in some spectacular gift or decoration and also just say no to dipping anything else in chocolate..! These opposing forces battle relentlessly in my head this and every season… please tell me I’m not alone!
In other news, I received the gift of being rejected this week. How is that a gift you say? Well, back in the summer I submitted a piece of writing to a written publication and was ignored completely. So, to have an email acknowledging that I didn’t make the cut this time seemed to be a step up… At least that’s how I’m choosing to frame it and it’s really all in how we think about things that makes the difference, isn’t it?
The more I thought about this whole rejection letter business last night I was reminded how Jesus was rejected too.
It started with no vacancy and ended with no mercy.
Folks were looking for an king and all the grandeur that comes with that role but what they got was a Savior in humble human form. They just couldn’t adjust their focus enough to realize the gift right there in front of them all along and as a result, a lot of them missed it completely.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” ~ Matthew 2:1-2
But what joy for the ones who connected the dots of prophecies and stars and recognized the signs.
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. ~ Matthew 2:9-10
All we have to do to find the right perspective sometimes is ask. After all, God is always ready to guide.
So as we approach the manger this Christmas may we not forget to live wisely in this foolish world by also approaching the throne daily and giving him the very best we have to offer in form of a surrendered heart.
They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. ~ Matthew 2:11
God inhabits our praises and changes our outlook just in the nick of time when we worship him alone and it’s in that spirit I started collecting my favorite, somewhat non-traditional, Christmas songs and I put them all in a playlist — My simple gift to you. I hope they cheer your heart as they do mine.
Happy Christmas friends and loved ones. May all the wonder and the worship be yours today and forever more.