What?!? Twenty-five dollars? For an ORNAMENT?
I have to admit it--I have a weakness for Christmas tree decorations, but I drew the line when I saw this ornament in the department store that day. It was the most original one I had ever seen--glass in the shape of a teardrop with etched gold curling in a spiral pattern all the way around the edge--the perfect balance of tastefulness and originality. It would be placed front and center on my tree, and those noticing it would comment on its beauty.
The price tag was nowhere to be found, though, so I waited in line three people back in order to get the price from the cashier. Imagine my surprise when I got to her and she said, "This is our original brand. It's a bargain at $25.00."
No way, I ranted inside my brain. I was so disgusted with the high cost that I didn't even put it back. Instead I said, "Thanks anyway," not so merrily, leaving it on the counter. I'm glad my bitter thoughts did not roll off my tongue.
Hours later, with the whole scene still mulling through my head, the Lord brought a convicting thought to my spirit:
That first Christmas was celebrated so differently than we celebrate it now. Nothing ornamental existed about it, other than THE Ornament, which was Jesus Himself. He was not wrapped up in bows, but in a simple cloth. The scene was not lit up with blinking, chasing lights, but illuminated by the stars alone. No finely decorated fir tree stood with pine-scented potpourri filling the room; instead, the air was filled with the odors of animal manure and hay.
Yet even without such sparkling accessories, that first Christmas was the most beautiful and glowing Christmas of all time. The presence of Jesus is what made it so magnificent.
I can't help but think of all the ways I decorate myself at Christmas. I look for the outfit that will stand out for the party, that blingy jewelry combo, the new trendy hairstyle. I often attach my confidence with how put together I look, how decorated my house is, how great I did on my gift choices. And I do so with my behavior as well--using my tongue to flatter, to dramatize, to draw attention to me, Me, ME.
This is the opposite of the example Jesus set for us when He was on the earth. He was humble and genuine in every way, pointing to God with His Word every time He spoke and with every action he took. My heart's desire is to do the same.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)
"So all of us who have had that veil removed
can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes
us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
No frills about it: Jesus is the grandest Ornament of them all. His authentic beauty will shine through us as we ask Him to redirect our attempts to decorate our lives with anything other than Himself. Let's wrap ourselves in His glorious image today.
Selah~ Pause. Ponder. Praise.