Stripping the house of all the trimmings and glitter and bobbles got me thinking. It was not about the decorations and the memories attached to them; a child’s handcraft, a grandmother’s glass delicate handed down from one generation to the next, a friend’s gift. No. Not the sentimental’s.
I was thinking about how stuff and tradition can often overshadow the plain and simple of Christmas.
The blue spruce stood sturdy. Prickly and bare it stood. Quietly.
Did I make sure that I did not miss it?
Laying the breakables carefully in the box…closing the lid… I stood reflecting upon the plain and simple, making sure I did not miss it in the lighted festivities.
Jesus. He was plainly born in a simple stable of long ago. Not likely a clean wooden barn with fresh cut straw. More probably in a damp manure laden cave-like abode, adorned with the strong oily scent of animal’s.
His birth announced to the lowliest of the day; shepherd’s on the hillside, in the night. Most slept and missed it. The birth.
The arrival of the King of Glory.
No trimmings and glitter or bobbles to decorate the scene.
Quietly. He lay plainly on his mother’s breast. I know; or I can assume quite confidently. It is what all mother’s do after the birth of their baby. Holding close for the seeing and the smelling and the feeling of the miracle. Birth.
Onlookers gaze upon the baby child and every mother, just like Mary, ponders what she hears.
But some missed that part. Our traditional, decorative scenes package it all up in one clean swoop. The wise men are placed at the scene. But, scripture says they were not there when the angels proclaimed and the shepherds went to see…
Yet, the wise men quietly knew. They persisted in following. Months of travel and then they simply arrived at the home where the child, Jesus, lived. And they bowed down and worshiped Him, the King of Glory, Messiah.
Three men on camels, crossing the desert, following a star, are painted in gold on one of the ornaments I just packed away.
How long did they travel? How did they know of the birth? How can one follow a star?
Reflective, I pile my boxes on the stairs to be taken up to the attic and I sweep up the few remaining green needles from the floor. I am amazed at the steady persistence of the wise men to follow and seek after Truth. Full of faith. Prepared and ready, they brought gifts.
I made up my mind.
I want to aim to be as persistent in my following Jesus this New Year.
This is the plain and simple of Christmas.
Join me in it.
Don’t glaze over and be stupefied by the trimmings and glitter and bobbles and tradition and sentimental’s and end up missing out.
Join me in it. Full of faith, let’s be prepared and ready for our meetings with Jesus. As we pray. As we worship. As we seek to know Him more and more. Deeper and Deeper. As we see Him, Jesus Messiah, in our every day living.