A slow drive through the subdivision after dark would reveal Christmas trees sparkling with white lights inside our neighbor's homes.
Retail stores have been hawking Christmas wares for weeks. Commercials have been enticing us with tempting Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals.
Rather than descend into a rant about the commercialization of Christmas (who wants to hear another one of those?), I'll share some of my reflections as of late.
Since moving to Tennessee two and one half years ago, I have felt very ambivalent about decorating the house for Christmas:
- we are far away from our kids
- it doesn't even snow here except for maybe a day or two in January
- our neighbors have show-stopping, mouth-dropping decorations
- we now, after 34 years of real trees, have fake trees - not the same
And...what in the world do Christmas trees and other decorations have to do with this:
A humble, crude stable which housed animals, a young husband and wife and the Son of GOD.
Not a five star hotel, but an out of the way, second-rate room. Rough. Dirty. Smelly.
Contemplating this, I want to have nothing to do with lights and sparkle and glitz and glam for Christmas. I meditate on the humility of the birthplace of the Savior and Creator of the Universe.
And yet, what happened next in the Luke account is such a contrast to the rude beginnings of the story,
"An angel of the LORD appeared to them, and the glory of the LORD shone around them..."
"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
'Glory to GOD in the Highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.' "
If we bought all the twinkle lights in the world(as the parties below appear to have done), it would not compare to the glory of the LORD shining around us.
Can you even begin to imagine what that night must have been like?
Yes, I'll decorate my house for Christmas. Not to try to out-do the Jones's (literally and figuratively), but to help me reflect.
The nativity set will help me remember all that Christ gave up for me (He left the splendors of heaven...).
The lights on our tree and on houses I pass as I travel to and fro, will remind me of (but only as a very poor imitation ) the glory of the LORD.
So join me, won't you? Let your home reflect the glory of the LORD!