I’m drinking from a Christmas mug, but other than that, I’ve been a little slow about putting up decorations this year. It’s been one piece at a time. A few little white houses found in the dollar section, a “Come let us adore Him” sign from a craft booth, a little sprig of mistletoe purchased on impulse.
That’s okay. There’s so much more to this season than the decor.
I recently reread the story of the rich man who came to Jesus and asked how to get eternal life. The short conversation ends like this:
As Jesus looked at him, he felt love for him and said, “You lack one thing. Go, sell whatever you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But at this statement, the man looked sad and went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. (Mark 10:22-23, NET)
Apparently he didn’t want to part with his earthly riches, even when eternal, heavenly treasure was on the line.
Perhaps because we’re entering the Christmas season, the story struck me anew. By stepping into our world, Christ had set aside so much more than that rich man ever could’ve. And He did it for us. So we could have a right relationship with God.
When the man came up to Jesus that day, Jesus was preparing to go on a journey. The very next scene shows Him on the road to Jerusalem. He pulls aside His disciples and foretells His death and resurrection. With His sacrifice looming, the sacrifice He asked of the rich man seems small.
This is a challenging realization, but also one that fills me with wonder at the generosity of God. That He would look at us with love, the way Jesus looked at that rich man that day, and while we were still sinners, He would die for us.
He’s that good. That loving.
What a reminder of what really matters this season. It’s not the decorations. It’s God, His truly wonderful love for us, and the relationship we can have with Him through Jesus Christ.
“He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children.” John 1:10-12, NETThe Rich One Who Left It All – A reminder that what really matters this season isn't the decorations. It's God and the relationship we can have with Him through Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet
I really needed this today! Thank you!
So grateful you stopped by, Shirleyann!
“With His sacrifice looming, the sacrifice He asked of the rich man seems small.” Yes, and the sacrifice He asks of each of us is small as well, whatever it might be. I sometimes start to think “How much more do I need to give, Lord? How much more will you ask of me?”, but then remember the answer is “Everything.” There is no holding back. That’s incredibly difficult…even feels impossible most of the time…but Jesus is our example.
That’s true and challenging. So grateful that He carries us in our weakness too. Not that we shouldn’t be willing and committed—we must—but He also meets us where we’re at and enables us as He calls us.
I’m lagging behind on Christmas decor right along with you. And wonderfully satisfied to be reminded how perfectly okay it is. Too much of the stuff of Christmas adulterates the reason for it. Appreciate your insights, Emily.
” … what really matters this season …is not the decorations. It’s God, His truly wonderful love for us, and the relationship we can have with Him through Jesus Christ.”
You’re right, Mary – we can get too caught up on the wrong things to celebrate the right thing sometimes. If putting up decorations late (or maybe skipping them?) helps us get our hearts in the right place, then so be it!
I like the way you switched that around. From the one who was asked to give up everything he owned to the One who did give up everything. What a gift
Exactly! I’m so grateful! <3