Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Heart of Christmas: Stripping Away the Glitter to Find the Beautiful

Isaiah wrote about the last days, when God will have a time of reckoning. He will strip away all the things in which people have trusted. Government. Wise leaders. Military might. Fortresses. Food supply. Idols. 

I shudder to think of it. People will want to hide in the mountains to escape.

Women, who have taken pride in appearance and position (beauty, clothing, makeup jewelry, manicures, great hairdo's, fancy undies), will find that God strips all of it away. What remains may not be attractive at all.

The Great Stripping Away will be a terrible time. None of us will like it. 

Because of the Stripping Away, however, something wonderful will happen. 

God will cleanse His people. 

He will make us holy and He will dwell with us. 

His Spirit will cover us. Protect us.

The Great Stripping Away will be worth it. 

My friend posted the photo (above) of her Christmas tree this year. As I read Isaiah 2-4 today, I thought of her "stripped down" tree. It's not covered with ornaments or lights, but it's strangely beautiful because of the truth it conveys.

It's left me wondering how much more beautiful our Christmas season would be if we would willingly strip away all the glitter and get back to the basics of the Nativity. 

There is breathtaking beauty in the truth that God became flesh and dwelt among us. 

Christmas is not made more beautiful by lights and tinsel. 

The Christ Child is beautiful as He is. Wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger.

If we strip away the fanciful and celebrate the birth of our Lord, perhaps we would experience His presence in a deeper, more profound way. Perhaps our children would understand that Jesus is the only gift that matters. Perhaps we would understand it, too.

This year, as those who follow the Messiah, let's choose Christ. Let's step away from the Madison Avenue idea of Christmas and simply embrace Jesus. If we do, I can promise you it will be the best Christmas ever.

"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Price of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 nasb
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Heart of Christmas: The Present on a Tree
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