A Christmas Devotion

A Christmas Devotion
I was reading in Acts chapter 17 in the Bible. The apostle Paul had arrived in the city of Athens, the intellectual capital of the world in his day. As he looked around he would have seen breathtaking architecture and beautiful art forms. However, the Bible says that he was distressed to see that the city was full of idols. It was obvious that the people worshiped many different gods. There was even an idol to an unknown god. Paul used that unknown god to teach them about the One True God of the universe.

The many idols to different gods sounded strange to me - that is until I looked around my own house this week before Christmas.

It's been a stressful year with medical problems and financial issues. I was behind in my preparations and I'd been rushed to put up my Christmas decorations. There was the Christmas tree with twinkling lights. There were small glitzy ornamental trees and poinsettias clustered on the china cabinet. Christmas cards were displayed. A tall toy soldier nutcracker stands guard on the table that will hold cookies and candies for guests.

As I sat reading the Acts passage, I surveyed my mementos and realized that in my rush I had forgotten to unpack the creche. There were all the lights and tinsel indicating that I was celebrating this season but where was the symbol of the focal point of my celebration?

What would Paul see if he walked into my house today? My God is not unknown. I know Who my Savior is but would a stranger understand the reason for my celebration? Does my life and my home testify to the fact that without Jesus Christ, nothing else is important?

I pulled out Baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and put them in their place on the mantle. The arrangement is very subtle compared to the lights and colors of the rest of the signs of celebration, but it draws my attention and reminds me of the grace of God. It is displayed as a reminder to share with others that there is a reason for the season that is far more valuable than all the gifts and the parties.
Lord, please don't let me get so caught up in the financial issues and the time consuming busyness of the Christmas holiday that I'm found at the altar of false gods.
Don't let me be blinded by the lights and tinsel of celebration.
I worship a God who is not unknown. God came near that night in the stable. Later, Jesus made it possible for all of us to enter the presence of God the Father with confidence and invited us to know Him intimately.
Acts 17:16-31

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You Should Also Read:
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Mary of Nazareth the Mother of Jesus

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