On one of our travels this past year, we ventured into some Christmas stores. You know, those shops with nothing but Christmas décor for sale year round.
I love Christmas, I truly do. And I do enjoy decorating the Christmas pine in a festive way with special ornaments, many from places we’ve lived or traveled to and collected over our 40+ years of marriage.
In addition, every year since our first child’s birth, I’ve purchased some kind of special Christmas ornament for each of our children. When they were small, my intention was to accumulate these ornaments, adding to them each year, so that when they grew up and left this nest called home, they would have a box of ornaments to put on their very own Christmas trees.
As they got old enough, I would let them choose their own ornament. So each of our three left home for adulthood with a box of Christmas memories.
And even though it’s been many years now that the last fledgling flew out of our nest, I still look far and wide for a special ornament to gift them and have added our two granddaughters to the Christmas ornament search list as well.
So, if there’s a Christmas shop handy, I’m in it, gleaning over the shelves, searching for just the right bauble.
One shop we visited on a trip this past summer looked promising. Entering the store, Christmas music was playing and the place was loaded with joyous Noel items everywhere.
Honestly, there seemed to be every kind of ornament imaginable – any theme, you name it, they had it. Some of the ornaments I felt were questionable to pass as Christmas tree decorations, but you know, to each his own.
Papa and I would just shake our heads at many of them and move on to the next shelf. We looked high, we looked low. And we finally did find a couple of ornaments to purchase – one for our oldest daughter and her hubby and one for a friend of mine.
But in all of our searching and perusing of the items in this Christmas shop, something was noticeably missing.
Where was Jesus – you know, the reason for the season? The Christ. The Savior of the world that Christmas is named for.
In the very back room of this store with many rooms, in the very far left corner of that room on a shelf down low below your eye level, a couple of small nativity sets occupied a tiny space.
That was all. I had to bend over and practically touch my shoulder to my ear to even see them sitting here in that forlorn little corner.
No other decorations proclaiming the meaning of Christmas could be found in that shop. None. Nothing about Jesus other than that tiny little baby in the two or three crèches. Just that and absolutely nothing more.
So what did Jesus do to deserve being put in the corner, out of the way, where no one would see Him?
He had the audacity to fulfill ancient prophecy as the Messiah – the long-awaited Savior. He exhibited absolute obedience to His Father by allowing himself to be taken to slaughter – this Lamb of God – hung on the cross in place of every sinner, dying for the love of His life – us.
He had the purest, unadulterated form of love for mankind than anyone else who has ever walked on this place called earth has ever possessed. Because He surrendered Himself for me. For you. For every single soul who chooses to believe in Him and accept His free and unconditional gift of grace – salvation.
Some day He won’t be put in the corner – forgotten and dusty. Because someday He’s coming back. And all of those Christmas ornaments that seem to gleam and glitter and catch our attention will be worthless.
They will not matter.
Because every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And He is the reason for the season.
“The great challenge left to us is to cut through all the glitz and glam of the season that has grown increasingly secular and commercial, and be reminded of the beauty of the One who is Christmas.” -Bill Crowder