Sunday, December 16, 2018


Christmastime, like most celebrations, is a visual feast.  Everywhere we look, people are focused on the glittery and the flashy.  Our family had a college graduation party yesterday for our two sons.  I had ordered a cake, decorated with a little mortarboard, etc.  Very flashy and appropriate for the occasion. In fact, you see those little spindly things?  They moved with the ceiling fan's breeze!  I was told this masterpiece tasted delicious too, which is major.  Really, if the cake tastes bad, who cares how fancy the frosting is?

It is for this reason I have a LOT of trouble with the Christmas season.  Do you wonder why I blog nearly every day of Advent?  At a time of year when there is already SO much to do?  It's because ... I don't want to miss the cake for all the frosting.  In the middle of the massive hustle and bustle, I often find myself craving "cake."  Many days, I don't get to the cake until the end of the day, because I am too rushed in the mornings to sit down, meditate on the Scriptures and blog.  At least, then, it is good to end the day with some healthy heart food, meditating on the Bread of Life, the true cake of Advent.  All the rest is frosting.

Take a good look at the Reason for the Season.

Some of us are hyper-focused on the visual; others are blind as a bat.  Some have excellent gifts of intuition.  Others are clueless as a goat.  I have a friend who is SO good at this - - - noticing how others are feeling, knowing exactly what to say at the right time.  It is hard not to be envious of such a great gift.

The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. 
Psalm 146:8a

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him.
The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. 
People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7

It gives me a little comfort, as one lacking great gifts of discernment and "noticing", that Samuel wasn't so hot at this either.  God had sent him to anoint the next king of Israel.  Like most of us, he was making judgments based on what his physical eyes saw, rather than what the Holy Spirit was whispering to his heart.  

He was missing the cake, for the frosting, you see (pun intended).

God the Father wanted us to focus with a laser-like beam on His Son, at His birth.  I think this is why Jesus' birth was so simple and unadorned.  Other than the angelic announcement, which a few straggling shepherds witnessed, there was nothing majestic about His birth.  He knows we are distracted by glittery things. That is why He removed those distractions, so that we could truly see.

In 1 Samuel 16:3, God promised to show Samuel, to open his eyes, so that he could recognize the next king of Israel.  If we but take the time to seek Him in these last days of Advent, open our hearts to Him, He will enlighten the eyes of our hearts as well, open them as only He can.

Lord God, in this Advent season we need to get past the frosting to taste the cake, get past the wrapping, to get to the Gift inside.  Don't let us miss hearts this Christmas, Lord, especially Yours.
In Jesus' name, amen.

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