Monday, December 20, 2010

More than ornamental

People use various ornaments for various reasons:

*Many ornaments hold sentimental value and remind the owner of the giver.  Sometimes, they reflect the shared love of a hobby or activity.  Allow the sparked memories to remind you to pray for this person as you hang their ornament.

*Some ornaments are family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation, and they remind us of the ones we have loved who have gone on before us.  Allow these bittersweet memories to bring to mind the promise of eternal life.  With a shared love in Jesus, we only part for a little while.  Memories can also bring further emotional healing and peace.

*Ornaments on my tree are often the result of an artistic child, and they always bring a smile to my face as I hang them up.  Allow these ornaments to be a reminder of the swiftly passing years, and commit to living each day to the fullest, appreciating each hug given by chubby little arms.  As my children grow into adulthood, I can thank the Lord for the privilege that was placed before me to hold them and care for them for a time.  (My 3 oldest boys happen to be at Grandma's at the moment, and the quiet stillness of the house lends itself well to my imaginings of this time - Gulp, sob.)

*Ornaments can be purely ornamental, just chosen because of their beauty.  What a wonderfully creative God we worship!  He loves and appreciates the beauty of His creation and of His body of believers just as we enjoy the beauty of the glitter and sparkly reflections of light around our tree.

*Ornaments can be reminders of His works - a manger scene, a cross, animals, scenery, a biblical story of God's grace.  It is very, very hard to find ornaments of Bible events, but the boys have ones of Daniel and the Lions, Jonah and the Whale, and Noah's Ark.  This one is self-explanatory.  What a wonderful reminder to have something like that hanging on your tree!  Allow yourself time to reflect on the awesome nature of our Lord as your eyes come to rest on these ornaments.

*Ornaments can be a type of memorial for a special place visited on a vacation, such as the one we have from our honeymoon location.  I allow these ornaments to remind me of the covenant of marriage to which I've entered, the blessing of past years, and the commitment I have to future years, as well as the wonderful memories of that time.

*Ornaments can be frivolous, silly, whimsical characters.  Honestly, we try to stay away from these.  I'm not saying I think they're anti-God, they just don't hold a deeper spiritual meaning for me, and if I'm using the Christmas tree as a reminder of His important trees (see previous posts), I cannot justify using up space on the tree for these.  Let me know if you can think of a good reason for me to change my mind.

May the ornaments on your tree be each a reflection of the grace of God in a particular area of your life as you celebrate His love for you and His gift of Himself this Christmas.

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