This time of year, there's so much to see. There are giant inflatable Santas waving at me from people's yards, incandescent deer grazing on snow-covered lawns, and entire houses plastered with blinking, multi-coloured LED lights. It feels like there's just way too much of what doesn't really matter to catch the eye and symbolize the season.
But that's not all. I've found that the one thing I see that really distracts me from what's important at Christmas is my own self! From self-absorbed worries about what people might think of me at a Christmas production to selfish fixations that keep me from preferring others' interests above my own, my very self is sometimes what I spend way too much time looking at and getting discouraged about.
Perhaps that's why Hebrews 2:9 felt so incredibly appealing when I read it recently. In the New King James Version of the Bible it begins with, "But we see Jesus..." Simple as that. The writer to the Hebrews had just acknowledged the fact that not everything is in subjection to Jesus (which is also true today), and that's when he adds that "But..." -- "But we see Jesus." We see Jesus who as a baby in a manger was "a little lower than the angels (2:9b). And we see Jesus who is now in heaven "crowned with glory and honour" after tasting death for us all (2:9c,d).
That means that amidst all the glitter and lights and ornaments, and despite the distraction of that imperfect reflection in the mirror, the same option is available to me. As I live in a world that's clearly not in subjection to Jesus -- and when I'm so perpetually prone to fixating on that imperfect self in me that also isn't entirely subjected to Jesus -- I want to respond by saying, "But I see Jesus! I see the One who is so beautiful in both His humility and His glory!" That is the key to me having a joyful Christmas, because I know that He will make all the difference.
© 2014 by Ken Peters