I know this time of year brings many memories to each of us of times gone by, with dreams of Santa bringing that special something, the baking cookies, setting out milk, and other things like that. The problem with that is many people know nothing different. I am one that likes the decorations and lights, garland, I put wrapping paper on our inside doors of the house, the whole nine yards, if you will.
My question today is: Is my celebration of Christmas about the One Who came to give life, or about the one (myself) who wants the most?
For many years, it has unquestionably been about me, and it is still hard to pull back from thinking about what I want under the tree this year! Do you have the same struggles? Aren't we raised to think about what WE want out of life? Isn't that what it's supposed to be about? If you answer yes to that, then there is a meaningless, empty life in your future...much like the life I had for many years.
It was a search for what made me feel good, what made me laugh, what thrills I could achieve, what money I could make, what toys I had...ME, ME, ME!!!
Last night, our church had the annual "Hanging of the Green" service. It is a service unlike any I had ever attended during my years before coming here. The significance of this service is that rather than just hanging lights, decorating a tree, lighting Advent candles, and having poinsettias set out - the historical reason for them is shared.
This is a service that all can be a part of...from Children's Choir, Youth Choir, special singers, spoken parts, and of course the Christmas story is read from Luke 2:1-20. If you've never been to a "Hanging of the Green" service, it might change your view of the season we celebrate and bring new meaning when you decorate your tree and follow other historic traditions.
I want to share my favorite reading from our service about the history of the Christmas tree. It goes like this...
"In our church, the tree is decorated with Chrismons, each being a symbol of Christ. Some use Greek letters that spell His name; others symbolize the various roles that He played. All are made in white and gold, symbolizing His purity and His kingship.
The most famous story about the early use of the evergreen tree at Christmas centers around Martin Luther. As the story goes, he walked through the forest one starry night, with snow covering the ground, and he marveled at the beauty of the starlight as it shone upon the branches of the fir trees. When he tried to tell his family of the glory and beauty of the forest, they failed to comprehend what he had seen. He then brought a pine tree into the house and placed candles upon it to represent the twinkling of the stars."
I pray that your outlook on this Christmas season will be different than before along with me. The season isn't about you or me, but rather about what we are because of the God who became flesh so that we might live an abundant life forever!
Our verse for this week is one we should have done a long time ago. It has great meaning and significance in my life. As the post has stated it's not about what I want, but rather about what can be done through me because of my willingness to be used. This verse is the theme of my blog and comes from Psalm 84:10..."For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."
This verse reminds me to keep focus. I would rather be doing the menial, trivial things in the house of my God - than to be highly praised out of His will!!! I pray that you will take this verse to heart...it can truly change how you view yourself and how you view things around you. As I always say...pray that God will speak to you through the verse...share it with others...be challenged to see what God will do if we are willing to take His words into our hearts this week and every day, week, month and year to come!!!
Please let me know if there is a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!