As I write this, my mind and heart are looking forward to Advent. I always try to add a devotion to this time of preparation for Christ’s birth, and make sure that I have all my gifts purchased and wrapped by then, so as to focus on the spiritual, not the material aspects of Christmas. And the calendar is telling me I’m running out of time. … Thankfully we have decided to simplify Christmas this year, which takes a lot of pressure off this momma in so many ways. I’m not sure my kids are quite on board though. They’ve been making their wish lists since June.
If you look closely, the Book of Wisdom talks precisely about this, focusing more on gifts than the giver of gifts. It says that because of the beauty of fire, wind, stars and water, people began to consider them gods instead of their Creator. It could just as easily say that due to the allure of new cars, social media, and phones, we consider them gods.
Though they seek God and wish to find him … they search busily among his works but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair. (Wisdom 13:6-7)
All the things God created are indeed beautiful, but what a great reminder to let them lead us back to Him!
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them. (Wisdom 13:3-4 – emphasis added)
How beautiful and excellent and powerful is our Lord God! If you think a sunrise or a snow-capped mountain is beautiful, a brand-new iphone or Amazon Prime is excellent, and a 650 supercharged Corvette or a multimillionaire politician is powerful, just imagine how beautiful and excellent and powerful is the One who made them all!!
It is so easy and so tempting to just stop and stay at what catches my eye or my mind’s eye at any given moment. I am scared to simply be quiet and still because maybe the unknown will be too profound for me to handle. I have a sense that God wants to pour Himself into me, not only give me gifts, but BE the gift, yet I run to the next distraction, and the next. Whether it be Christian suspense novels or Facebook or email or superficial chats or gossip …
So this Advent, I resolve to spend time focusing not so much on the gifts, but on the giver, author, originator, source, and artisan of them all — my beautiful, excellent and powerful God.
Copyright 2019 Tami Urcia