Distracted by the Sparkle of Christmas
Lost in the sparkle
I heard a great illustration tonight about the sparkle of Christmas. Here is a modified and tweaked version of the story that is beneficial for all to hear.
Paul opens the door to his home on Christmas Eve after coming home from his work Christmas party. As usual, his two young children, James (4) and Sally (3) rush to greet him. But as soon as they see the gift bag in his hand, they are quickly drawn to the gift, rather than to give their usual hugs and kisses. Paul sees their excitement and sets the gift bag down for them to open. James quickly opens the bag and with eyes wide with awe, exclaims, "WHOA!" Sally quickly rushes over to join in and produces an identical expression. Paul, obviously, is curious what this great gift is, as he hasn't even opened it yet himself. James reaches into the bag and pulls out a big sheet of wadded up paper that is full of sparkles. He quickly rushes off with Sally into the other room.
Paul, smiling slightly, calls after the children, saying, "Children, come back, the gift is still in the bag!" Humored by their excitement with the stuffing paper, but also wanting them to see the real gift, he calls coaxes them back into the room. As James returns to the bag, with Sally on his heels, he peers back into the bag. "WHOA!!!" he exclaims again, same wide-eyed awe. He appears unable to move as his eyes continue to get bigger and his smile grows. Paul smiles, hoping to finally see what the gift is. James reaches into the bag and slowly pulls out yet another sheet of sparkling gift paper. With all the excitement a 4 year-old can muster, he yells out, "Look, Sally, there is one for you, too!" And they turn and run out of the room, giggling and happy as can be.
As Paul calls out to them to come back yet once again to retrieve the actual gift, his words are unheard and unnoticed by the two children. They are completely satisfied and content with their own sheets of sparkling paper.
Though this is a cute and humorous story with two little children acting just like children, it points out a great flaw in many of us. How often we act just like those children. Every year Christmas comes around, and we have the opportunity to be reminded of the true gift of Christmas and even to share that gift with others, yet we are "distracted by the sparkle." Rather than share the story of Jesus' birth and the impact of his life for the whole world, the gift that God sent to us from heaven to provide a mean of salvation for all of our sins, we are more concerned with what new gadget to buy, and making sure all of our relatives have our newest, updated Christmas wish list. We are more concerned with giving a gift that will keep a child or friend entertained for the next week, rather than sharing the gift that will save them for eternity.
God gave us Christ as a baby sent to Earth. Christ gave up his seat at the right hand of God, to become man on Earth. He gave up his life for us, that we might have salvation through him, despite ourselves and our sins. What gift could be better than this? And how can we be so ungrateful to constantly forget this gift? Don't be distracted by the sparkle of Christmas, take time to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and be sure to share it with others. No gift is more meaningful or important than Jesus Christ.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:23
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16
What a great thing to remember this Christmas. God Bless.
If you aren't completely sure what this true gift of Christmas is, ASK! Nothing is more important in your life or the lives of others than to accept this gift.