Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! Psalm 63:3
Looking at the handmade Christmas ornaments my son Xavier crafted over the years and the annual mismatched baubles Grandma had sent him, I couldn’t figure out why I was not content with our decorations. I’d always valued the creativity and memories each ornament represented. So, why did the allure of the retail stores’ holiday displays tempt me to desire a tree adorned with perfectly matched bulbs, shimmering orbs, and satin ribbons?
As I began to turn away from our humble decor, I glimpsed a red, heart-shaped ornament with a simple phrase scripted on it—Jesus, My Savior. How could I have forgotten that my family and my hope in Christ are the reasons I love celebrating Christmas? Our simple tree looked nothing like the trees in the storefronts, but the love behind every decoration made it beautiful.
Like our modest tree, the Messiah didn’t meet the world’s expectations in any way (Isaiah 53:2). Jesus “was despised and rejected” (v. 3). Yet, in an amazing display of love, He still chose to be “pierced for our rebellion” (v. 5). He endured punishment, so we could enjoy peace (v. 5). Nothing is more beautiful than that.
With renewed gratitude for our imperfect decorations and our perfect Savior, I stopped longing for glitz and praised God for His glorious love. Sparkling adornments could never match the beauty of His sacrificial gift—Jesus. Xochitl Dixon
How can you make praising Jesus part of your Christmas celebration? What does His sacrifice on the cross mean to you?
Loving God, please help me see the beautiful love reflected through the magnitude of Your sacrifice.
1 Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? 2 My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 3 He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.