“If Jesus was born in a stable with cow manure and straw scattered all over, I am not going to stress about my house being in perfect order before the baby comes!” said the very pregnant young mother in the nursery this past Sunday. I was teaching the toddler Sunday School class and overheard the previous statement.
She had a very good point. The King of Kings was born in very humble circumstances. Is this indicative of the value God puts on ornamentation? Maybe. The location of Jesus’s birth was no accident. Our Heavenly Father wanted to identify with his creation, mankind, so he sent his son to be born in humble surroundings.
This young mother’s statement made me reflect on the fact that I had spent some serious time decorating for Christmas. Was that frivilous or a waste of time?
As I put ornaments on the tree, each reminded me of a previous Christmas or a friend or family member who had given me the ornament. Several had been made by our children with varying levels of success – but radiating the love with which they were given. No, this wasn’t a waste of time. It is a tradition in the best sense of that word. Traditions that remind us of the true meaning of Christmas – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” – those traditions have value. As I put out the manger scene I was reminded of the hours of play our grandchildren enjoyed moving the figures about reenacting the manger scene. (and hiding baby Jesus)
After the angel told Mary that she was to birth Jesus, her response was the following:
46 Mary responded,
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
Decorationg for Christmas can be one way to celebrate that Jesus was sent to reveal God’s love.
May our efforts reflect God’s love to our families.