Oakmont United Methodist Church
Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Church In Your Backyard
From Our Pastor
Last year while packing away all our Christmas decorations I came across a sad discovery in the attic: an entire box of Christmas tree ornaments that had been overlooked in late November. The ornaments in the box had spent the Christmas season—the one time of year that they would see the light of day—in the December cold of the parsonage attic. Beauty that usually found expression in the midst of evergreen boughs had been kept hidden. Memories were held dormant that are usually evoked and celebrated as ornaments are unpacked and placed on the tree. The usually sad time of packing away Christmas things was sadder still as I looked at those ornaments and considered the opportunities that were lost as they stayed forgotten upstairs in their box.
So this year it will be that all the ornaments will go on the trees (we have two). Care will be taken to put every figurine, every elf, every angel, every star, every special memory, and every tacky keepsake imaginable, on a tree. And more importantly, the sad “tale of the overlooked box of ornaments” will serve as a reminder of a larger and more important realization—when Christmas comes that’s the opportunity to put the ornaments on the tree. When Christmas has passed, that opportunity has gone missed. Unused ornaments weren’t ornaments at all; their purpose was denied them. Missed opportunities aren’t opportunities any longer; they become regrets. Unspoken words or deeds of love aren’t really love, however they may be held in the heart. The “helping hand” that isn’t ever extended to help a hurting brother or sister isn’t really all that much help.
Don’t leave any ornaments unused this season. Whether the ornament is a plastic “elf on a shelf,” or whether it is a beautiful blessing of grace, or forgiveness, or mercy that you really need to share with someone, be sure to use it. Be sure to let all your ornaments and adornments be expressions of the love that Christmas represents. Don’t leave anything special hidden away, forgotten, in a cold attic. Take it down. Unpack it. Let it shine.
May God’s Peace fill you and yours this Christmas season.