Ornamental Occasion--A Holiday Devotional
by LauraLee Shaw
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What?!? Twenty-five dollars? For an ORNAMENT?
I have to admit it--I have a weakness for Christmas tree decorations, but I drew the line when I saw this ornament in the department store the other day. It was the most original one I had ever seen--glass in the shape of a teardrop with etched gold curling in a spiral pattern all the way around the edge--the perfect balance of tastefulness and originality. It would be placed front and centre on my tree, and those noticing it would comment on its beauty.
The price tag was nowhere to be found, though, so I waited in line three people back in order to get the price from the cashier. Imagine my surprise when I got to her and she said, "This is our original brand. It's a bargain at $25.00."
No way, I ranted inside my brain. I was so disgusted with the price that I didn't even offer to put it back. Instead I said, "Thanks anyway," and stalked out in a huff, leaving it on the counter. At least my bitter thoughts did not roll of my tongue!
Hours later, with the whole scene still mulling through my head, the Lord brought a convicting thought to my spirit.
That first Christmas was celebrated so differently than we celebrate it now. There was nothing ornamental about it, other than THE Ornament, which was Jesus Himself. He was not wrapped up in bows, but in a simple cloth. The scene was not lit up with blinking, chasing lights, but illuminated by the stars alone. There was no finely decorated fir tree with pine-scented potpourri filling the room; instead, the air was filled with the odors of animals and hay.
Yet even without such sparkling accessories, that first Christmas was the most beautiful and glowing Christmas of all time. The presence of Jesus is what made it so magnificent.
The Holy Spirit also showed me that this doesn't just apply at Christmas, but to every other month of the year as well. We decorate ourselves in so many ways, don't we? Not just in our outward appearance, but also in our hearts and minds. We do so with such things as jewelry, fashionable clothes, a fake sense of humor, flattery and pride.
This is the opposite of the example Jesus set for us when He was on the earth. He was humble and genuine in every way, pointing to God and His Word every time He spoke. My heart's desire is to do the same.
"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
No frills about it: Jesus is the grandest Ornament of them all. His beauty will shine through us as we ask Him to redirect our attempts to decorate our lives with anything other than Himself. Let's wrap ourselves in His glorious image today!
Copyright 2007 Laura L. Shaw
Laura Shaw is currently the Kids Praise Ministry Leader at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, Texas. She also has an online devotional ministry for adults and kids to encourage spiritual growth in the family of believers:
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Good lesson brought out here, by a simple every day (well, at least once-a-year) occurance. We all need to be reminded of what really counts, what real "ornaments" we need to have in our lives, like faith, hope, love, understanding,caring, prayerfullness--the list could go on. Let's remember this lesson as the Holiday season begins...God bless you, Laura....Helen
Thanks Laura for this very inspiring holiday devotional! I agree with what Helen said about what the true ornaments of Christmas should be. Jesus was born on a humble stable, and why the world are we making Christmas so complicated? My prayer is that may we just pause and reflect on the real meaning of the Season- the Gift that never stops giving. Blessings, Gloria