Have you ever considered that Christmas is a life map? Christmas has all the temptations of life as well as the praise worthy components.
Think about that glittery package decked with a bright red ribbon so large it tumbles over the shiny foil wrapping. It looks like a treasure. Everyone o oohs and awes over the elegance of the wrapping. No one would suspect that inside is a worn pair of mittens. Isn’t that much like us? We bedeck ourselves with mask of makeup, svelte fitting undergarments to disguise our bulges, and expensive dresses to cover our flaws. We are a wrapped package to the eyes of the world. What is within? Have we weathered too many storms and our thoughts are always critical? Have we nurtured the bitter seed of divorce, rejection, despair , and it has grown massive and hardened our heart ? Does our velvet black cocktail dress hide our hurts?
Consider all the sweet temptations. We relish each plate of cookies or red velvet cake that passes our way. The fudge, the ribbon candy, and the caramels are just too much to resist. We eat and eat and submit to each temptation that comes our way. Is this perhaps a forerunner of our lack of discipline for the new year ?
The lack of budgets and savings create a charge card filled with gifts from every store in the area as well as Amazon and other well known on line sites. We buy and buy more. If we see a lovely silk scarf for our sister, we like it so much we buy ourselves one too. Yes, that gift of wine is nice for the hostess , but we add two to our pantry as well. It is a strange kind of generosity. If they will enjoy it, so will I. In the frenzy of black Friday, have you found the greatest bargains for yourself? Again, is Christmas shopping a test of our generosity versus our greed?
Families merge and traditions continue. There is so much fun for the children and warmth in family togetherness. However, how many times have we realized the Chevy Chase extended Christmas family is ours? We are struggling with Aunt Mary’s same stories of health concerns about her constipation. We can’t bare for our brother to boss and organize one more family function. We are at our husband’s throat because of all the stress of his family? Again, think about this as a dress rehearsal. Is God using this time to test our selflessness, our compassion, our loyalty to Him and His children?
As I have meditated on Christmas this year, the Lord keeps showing me each aspect of Christmas has been stolen by the enemy. What was intended to present Emmanuel with us has become a trial rather than a blessing. Apparently, movie makers have understood this for years and realized that tear makers are money makers.
We are reminded continually this is a holy season. We must enter each task, each challenge, each celebration with the mind of Christ. He has created an opportunity for our light to shine and our discipline to matter. He has come not only as a babe in the manger but as our Provider each Christmas season. I am accepting the challenge of seeing Christmas as a test of my true self. Do I really have a heart for the poor? Am I rejoicing in all things? Am I showing compassion and love to my family? Am I able to set aside my selfish desires and find joy in giving and serving willingly? Am I really my neighbor's keeper? I cannot answer yes to many of these questions. However, looking at Christmas in this way has given me new understanding and trust in how much our heavenly Father has used Christmas to shape and mold me. I hear the phone ringing, perhaps it is another opportunity to rehearse for Christmas.