Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Perfection ... by Shannon

I usually decorate our Christmas tree. My husband, Lee, helps, but he asks me where everything should go. (Although, I must admit that somehow his Santa-with-a-shotgun ornament – yes, he's a good ole Southern boy – always ends up aimed at the deer ornament, and that has never been my doing!) This year was different; this year I had a helper: Jocelyn, who will turn two in January.

Before this year, our Noah's ark set of ornaments were always grouped near each other; this year, Noah is nowhere near his wife, the lion can't see his lioness, and the other pairs are all in places that Jocelyn deemed best (including the penguin who is hanging from the nightlight in her bedroom). In previous years, our plain ball ornaments were placed in the recesses of the tree to make it look fuller (especially this year, since our artificial tree is beginning to show that it was a great deal when we bought it as newlyweds); this year, Jocelyn decided that all the ball ornaments needed prominent positioning, since one of her favorite words is "ball." No ornament is where I would have placed it (except for her, my, and Lee's baby's first Christmas ornaments; those I placed near the top as usual), but it's beautiful. Special. Perfect. In a word, it's us. And I love it.

The biggest difference, though, is in how the ornaments were treated. I have my favorite ornaments, those with special meaning or memories or those that are just prettier. I usually hide some less favored ornaments in less conspicuous places, like the back of the tree or its interior, and reserve special spots for my beloved ornaments. This year, though, every ornament was beloved. Jocelyn carefully examined each, lovingly kissed each, and painstakingly selected the perfect spot for each.

My friend, isn't that the message of Christmas? God so loved the world (each of His "ornaments") that He sent His one and only Son so that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life (a perfectly picked spot on His tree). He doesn't have favorites. He doesn't hide some of us away and show off others. On our tree, the ornaments this year were the same ornaments as last year; their monetary value didn't change. But, in how Jocelyn treated each, their worth did. When Christ came, the value of each person didn't change. But, as He paid the price for each of us, our worth was changed forever. Now that's worth celebrating! Merry Christmas!

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