Maybe I put them up too soon. Perhaps next year I should put them up later and enjoy them more after the craziness of Christmas Day has passed.
Every year at Christmas there is talk about the decorations and traditions of Christmas and their origins. Santa Claus is banned from households and Christmas carols fill shopping malls. Everywhere there seems to be a class of the Holy and the Profane.
I think of the story of Joseph - beaten by his brothers, sold to slavery, thrown in prison and then exalted to a position to save his family and God's chilren. Joseph wrote:
Genesis 50:20, God's Word Translation (1995)
"Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it."
The Christmas holiday season is similar. The evil satan had planned in this world can be seen in many holiday traiditions.
We do not know the date of Christ's birth. It is celebrated at the same time as a traditional pagan holiday. We use Red and Green because of the traditions of this same holiday. We decorate a tree because of the druids worship of nature. Evergreen usage in decorating also comes from the druids.
Yet "God planned good to come out of it." The pagan holiday is redeemed as a time that the entire world acknolwedges Christ's kingdom. The Red speaks of God's blood on the cross. The color Green and the evergreen boughs remind us of his gift of eternal life. The tree we decorate in our homes reminds us of the cross this baby would one day die upon.
We give gifts to each other to remind us of the Greatest Gift ever given us - Eternal life.
Santa Claus perhaps takes the biggest kick from those wishing to keep all things holy in this season. But Saint Nicholas was a real man. A wealthy man who gave his fortune away to help others. A Christian man who sought to spread the love of Christ through out his known world.
We look so hard to make things Holy in our lives that we forget that God himself redeems the evil of this world. He is Holy. He is omnipotent. He is worthy of our praise.
This last day of the year, I will praise my maker. I will take time to be still and remember His life. His love. His death.
Lord, show me your redeeming power. Open my eyes to let me see your mighty hand all around me. There is so much good to come in this world.