My husband and I left the sun and warmth of South Africa to spend Christmas in Europe. In the couple of cities we visited Christmas was celebrated in grand style. The lights and decorations in the streets and squares were dazzling. The stalls of the Christmas markets were bursting with things to buy. There was the delicious smell of sausages on the grill, and the pungent aroma of spices in the gluhwein and gingerbread. The air was filled with Christmas music and merriment of the crowds. I was very impressed with it all until my husband said, “I wonder where Jesus is in this?”
So we looked for Him. And we did find Him. Amongst the myriad of Christmas decorations there were indeed some beautiful crib scenes, and amongst all of the Christmas tunes and jingles there were some hymns giving glory to God. But we had to look hard, and listen carefully, to find Him. We could so easily have missed Him, so attractive and altogether distracting were the trappings.
This experience set me thinking and led to some personal questions that are challenging me. Perhaps some are relevant for you too. “How impressed am I with the glitz and dazzle around me and to what extent am I taken in with the world’s promise that in it all I’ll find meaning? How discerning and concerned am I about the things of God in a world that’s been led astray? How much do I care about fixing my eyes on Jesus instead of on the superficial and empty glamour of the world?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I confess that my eyes are often not fixed on You and my heart is not always after You. Please help me to grow in a sincere and pure devotion to you so that I will discern the emptiness of the world’s attractions rather than be led astray by them. In You alone is the fullness of life.
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