Miles of ribbons, thousands of ornaments, multiple dozens of garlands and wreaths. White House staff: pastry chefs, electricians, carpenters, forest service employees, volunteer decorators. Perhaps 100's of folks - decorating the White House and the Vice President's residence (that rolls off the tongue nicely doesn't it?).
It was both fascinating and frustrating.
Lots of glitz and glam, but no recognition of the glory of that first Christmas.
Lots of show. No worship. No manger. No Savior.
Peace on earth? Oh, yes, please. We achieve that by hanging up pretty things and being nice to each other, right? Ignoring the depravity in our hearts and our need, need, for a Savior.
We need a Savior, not a Santa.
I am not against pretty things. Or decorating. Or putting out extra effort to celebrate. I can even kinda get into that sort of thing.
With all the humble circumstances of that first Christmas:
the long trek of the young couple (no attending staff)
the stable - basically giving birth outside
the feeding trough for a crib.
The coarse, crude beginnings were announced by an angel.
An angel, people!
Then the smelly outcast shepherds were surrounded by the Glory of the LORD.
THE GLORY OF THE LORD, you guys!
And the suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising GOD.
A multitude of angels y'all!
And a star.
Yes, that star!
No team of experts could top that. Complete humility. Spectacular announcement and celebration.
Ann Voskamp in The Greates Gift says,
"Our GOD who breathes stars dark - He breathes Bethlehem's Star, then takes on lungs and breathes in stable air. We are saved from hopelessness because GOD came with infant fists and opened wide His hand to take the iron-sharp edge of our sins."
Isn't that spectacular?