At first glance what do you see?
A bare, dark, all alone, ugly tree?
Look again, do you see that hint of light on the horizon? It is just enough light to make the tree pop, giving definition to each gnarly naked branch.
What’s going on in your life right now? Is it filled with joy and excitement for Christmas, or are you under a cloud of dread and gloom? Maybe you are in the midst of a trial that is weighing you down in darkness. Do you feel all alone? I’m told these are very common for many people around the holidays.
Do you think you can let a little bit of light in?
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Jesus wants to shine light on and through you. Call out to Him! He will light your path and lead you through this time of darkness.
According to Mark 7, in response to criticism from some Pharisees, Jesus replies:
“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” Mark 7:6-8
As Christmas approaches, ask yourself, “Am I holding man-made traditions higher than celebrating fulfilled prophesy, the birth of Jesus? Am I truly honoring Jesus through this advent season, OR is my heart and attitude actually far from God overwhelmed with crazy busyness/stress due to traditions?”
Remember, it’s not christMAS; it’s CHRISTmas.
Father God, forgive us. We are just like the Pharisees. We tend to proclaim Christmas as a celebration of your birth, yet we push you to the background focusing on our man-made traditions and fanfare. May we have softened hearts to honor you throughout this advent celebration. To God Be the Glory! Amen