I went Christmas shopping today. Yes, I still like to go to the stores and shop during this busy season. I enjoy the music and decorations, even the hustle and bustle at this time of year. It was busy, but not terribly so. I love to people watch and it was fun to see the young Dads taking their children to get mommy’s gift. The kids were wide eyed and excited to pick out that perfect gift for their mommy.
The scene was a little different at Hobby Lobby. Men were following their wives, but the men didn’t have that same wide eyed excitement as the kids. Their eyes were more glazed over as their wives were seeking that perfect décor for their home.
There is something about Christmas that urges us to seek perfection; the perfect gift, the perfect home, or that perfect meal. Years ago I had the grand idea to make my own wrapping paper. I had this vision of all the wrapping paper coordinating in golds, cream and brown. I went to the store and bought white and brown paper, sparkling gold and cream stamps, gold and cream ribbon for bows and ribbon streams, twine to add a rustic touch to the sparkling gold and several Christmas stampers. At first I kept up with wrapping the gifts as I bought them. Oh those gifts had beautiful ribbon streams and intricate bows.
Then, as I got busier with school programs, parties and life at Christmas time I didn’t keep up with it. Which meant that Christmas Eve I was wrapping gifts. Of course I had spent all of this money on making my own wrapping paper and already had a theme going so I had to use it. And just how do you think that night went? That’s right, me pounding stamps on the paper, rushing through those bows and the ribbon streams were long gone.
All in all though it looked pretty good as I turned the tree lights off and went to bed in the early hours of Christmas morning. I was excited as the kids came out that Christmas morning. I was not prepared for the fact that my 5, 7 and 9 year old children wouldn’t even look at the wrapping paper, and the living room was filled with thrown aside paper in about 30 minutes.
It’s interesting that we are trying to reach some kind of worldly perfection to celebrate the anything but perfect birth of our Savior, at least by the worlds standards. A woman, pregnant before marriage, having her child in a stable full of animals because there was no place else available is not what we would consider a perfect birth.
And yet it was perfect.
“The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
How many times have we learned that God’s idea of perfection and the world’s idea of perfection don’t match up. We can pursue the perfect Christmas but without Jesus it is empty. We can look for that perfect gift, but the perfect gift came that night more than 2000 years ago in the form of a child born in a stable along side the animals.
As we enter this last week before Christmas, many of us will be looking for a great gift for someone special. As we find those gifts and give them with love, let’s remember to share the love that came with the birth of a baby to a virgin mother. A perfect love on a perfect night in a perfect manner from a holy, perfect God. #inthewhisper #christmaslove #perfectlove