Today we began the process of putting up all of our Christmas decorations. We've got both trees up-one half decorated and the other waiting patiently in our formal room for it's turn to be adorned with lights and ornaments. My mantle is covered with garland, waiting for stockings to be hung-and the other three tubs of Christmas trimmings will soon be emptied out until almost every nook and cranny is a display of Christmas cheer! In the midst of emptying tubs and checking lights, my decorating frenzy was brought to an abrupt halt, as one particular corner I was decorating revealed something that I could not ignore...
This will be our first Christmas in this house. The Lord blessed us this year with such a wonderful place to call home-nothing spectacular or "jaw dropping" compared to many homes around town, but to us, a perfect place to settle in and raise our children. So, with this new home, came a new decorating challenge...where to put all of our Christmas stuff?? Last Christmas was a no brainer-in our old home I knew where everything went-kid tree here, big tree there, garland here, snowmen there, and so on. But not this year. So, I spent much of the morning eyeballing different shelves and corners trying to mentally place everything. When I pulled out our nativity scene, I headed towards the table where I've placed it for the past 7 years, but before I reached it, I spotted a place on our bookshelves that I thought just might work. The bookshelves are the focal point of our Family Room and I liked the idea of the nativity being where we spend most of our time, a place where we could enjoy it and it would hopefully serve as a reminder of what this season is really all about. I began to move some things around to make room, and when I finally had everything positioned just right, I stepped back to take a look...and that is when I noticed something. It was a large cross (that I have there year 'round) hovering, overshadowing, our nativity scene. It sent chills down my spine. How perfect. The cross overshadowing the manger, foreshadowing the very reason why this birth is worth celebrating. My redemption-birthed of a virgin, paid for by the precious blood shed on the cross. What a powerful picture it was for me and a perfect start to this season. Shortly afterwards, I sat down to read, and my Bible fell open to Philippians 2:3-11.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Lord, may this be my attitude this Advent Season...may I remember not to look to my own selfish interests, but to serve my family and others in humility, always mindful that You came to Earth as a helpless baby, taking the very nature of a servant to save me from death, so that I may live to proclaim that You are Lord, to the glory of God the Father, amen.