Last night, as I waited for Emily’s (our sixteen year old) boyfriend’s father to come and pick his son up, I searched “Christmas” images on Yahoo and Google. The first page of each search yielded holiday pictures of trees, lights, Santas, presents, etc. No Nativity images popped up, although the very last picture on Google’s first page had a Cross coming out of a Christmas tree (I think it was a Christmas tree)–a Christian Christmas image, I guess. The image you see above was the only photo image on Word clipart for ‘nativity’ and ‘Christmas Jesus’ searches–many, many other Christmas images are available, just none with a newborn Jesus in them.
How about the rest of us? Look around you, wherever you may be. Seriously, stop for a second, and look about you. What Christmas images do you see? What gets top billing? What images dominate? What does your front page of images look like? If someone came into your space and did a “nativity” search, what would they find? Do Santas outnumber baby Jesuses? Do angels speak louder than Joseph and Mary? Are presents competing with the wise men? Do holly and candles edge out shepherds? Are snowmen giving the shove to stables?
The images we surround ourselves with reveal where our heart is, reveal what is most important to us. The outer is most often a reflection of the inner. Again, take a look around you…
Need to reorient? Need to repent? It is not too late to celebrate Christmas for real. Christmas is about making room for Christ in our heart, in our life, and inviting Him in. He was born here on this planet to save us from everything that keeps us from Him–everything.
He wants you and me for Christmas, every square inch of us. Whatta ya say we take a chance and give ourselves to Him in a deeper, more real way. Who knows, in return we may see the Gift given 2000 years ago with new eyes. Our ears may be opened to hear His sweet whispers.
At Jesus’ birth angels came to the most disgraced, unclean members of that society (shepherds) and invited them to come to Him. Listen to Luke 2…
10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14″Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
The angels visited the shepherds, but their message is for all of us (vs. 10). As we turn may His favor rest on us and bring us peace (vs 14). I pray that the “good news of great joy” will make for a very merry Christmas for you, my friend…