Monday, December 1, 2014

Unpacking Jesus, Just in Time for Christmas!

Unpacking treasures
Angel announcing the
birth of the Savior 
I love having family come to our house, especially for holidays and I do my best to make each gathering special.  Part of that is using our china, silver, crystal, and special decorations.  For our upcoming gathering, the Christmas tree is already up and adorned. I enjoy unpacking each ornament, don’t you?   As I lift each one and inspect it, I recall how it came to be part of our tradition. Some have been painted or crafted but each reflects an aspect of Christ.  Some pictured here are inscribed with a name of God which reflects His character.   Some have Scripture about His birth.  Some are angels announcing the birth of the Savior of the world.  What a spectacular moment in history!  I can’t imagine how the shepherd’s lives would ever have been the same after that wonderful night!  For them, that had to be a night that changed everything.  Actually, it changed everything for us too.

Another of my favorite items to pull out into the open is a nativity scene.  This one is quite special.  The original six pieces, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and three wise men, were given to me by my mother.  My husband built the stable.  The remaining dozen or so pieces I painted over the course of several years.  My contribution included a cow, a donkey, a goat, some sheep with their shepherd and of course, an angel.   Eleven months of the year, it is packed away in a box in the attic.  Kind of sad isn’t it?  Packing away Jesus, and bringing Him out just for the party. 

This year as I carefully, very carefully, unwrap each little treasure I remember the gifts, the givers and brushstrokes, but, there is one that I eagerly anticipate, and until I unwrap that one, find the real treasure inside, I am just a little disappointed.  Oh, there are pieces with more detail, the camel is quite beautifully adorned, befitting of the regal cargo he carried.  The cow and donkey also have beautiful faces, but nothing would be of any importance without the precious Child.  So, I always breathe a little easier once I find Him, and linger a while longer when I look at His face.  I hope to talk to Mary about that one day, about looking into the face of God in the flesh.  The Mark Lowery song, “Mary did you know?” is a beautiful supposition of what she might have experienced. 

We do well to consider this Child, and our need for Him.  We do well to remember this Child and His gift to us.  We do well to celebrate His coming which gave us so very, very much.  We do well to invite Him not only to our Christmas decorations, but into our hearts. 

Christ in the center
Father, how we eagerly anticipate the celebration of Your coming to earth to dwell among us.  We sometimes seem so far removed from that time and circumstance, that we remind ourselves to purposefully remember.  We remember our need for You and how You provided this means by which we can enter into Your presence.  We remember how much You loved us to have given us such a precious and costly gift.  Help us to unpack those memories, treasure them, and keep them in front of us, especially in this season of remembrance.  Give us new opportunities to speak of Your love this season, and give us the boldness to do it. We desire that all those around us will see Your presence in us, and that everything we do will honor You.  Thank You for loving us so very much

What are your traditions to keep Christ in the center of Christmas?  Please share, I would love to hear all about it!  Thanks so much for visiting.  I pray the treasure of Christ is very real to you this year!

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