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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ornamental Occasion


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.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Amen, praise God. He is the most beautiful, precious gift there will ever be.

December 15, 2009 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Jamaican Princess said...

BEAUTIFUL!

December 15, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Freddae' said...

I loved the reference to Jesus as THE ornament. Beautiful.

December 15, 2009 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

Very powerful and truthful post; Thank you so much for sharing it. You shared a reminder of the best way to decorate the Christmas season,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.

A loud Amen to that.

December 15, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Amen...THE ornament that never tarnishes or breaks and is everlasting...loved this post!

December 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger beckyquilts said...

You are so right when you talked about decorating yourself. I have fallen into that trap many times. The holidays turn into me, me, me...I am happy or sad depending on how well everyone does what I want them to...I want to look great...I want certain presents, I want, I want...How sad!
Thanks for the reminder that Jesus is the only ornament that we need.
At our church, we recently began using the phrase "make God look good" by our thoughts, deeds, attitudes, etc. This year, we should spend our time making God look good to those who don't know Him.

December 15, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Need More Words said...

This was a beautiful post. I could picture Jesus in the manger with the stars twinkling in the sky, what a beautiful night.
Diane

December 15, 2009 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

As usual, your words are a deep blessing to my soul!

December 15, 2009 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Lori Laws said...

Yes Laurelee, I too can get "caught up" in the whole decorating thing. One day as I was thinking about where to put stuff and how to arrange it, The Holy Spirit spoke, "Seek Me First." Amen! Jesus is THE ornament, and the reason for the season! Merry CHRISTmas, and God bless!

December 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Love the way you put that, Karen. "THE ornament that never tarnishes or breaks and is everlasting." So true.

Thanks for your personal stories and comments, everyone. God is working in and through you all.

Merry CHRISTmas!

LauraLee

December 16, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Let's just wear him, what do you say? Now that's decoration, sister!

peace~elaine
PS: I imagine you can get that ornament for a real bargain following the holiday; Christmas on sale! But that's a whole other post for another day--I imagine it would "preach" as well.

December 17, 2009 at 7:56 PM  

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