I was looking at the three wise men on my mantel today. Of course we don't KNOW there were three men, but we know they brought three gifts. As I thought about how to actually "choose" to bring the holy back to Christmas through small choices during December days, I thought about all the wise men chose in order to give priority to the holy.
~ They chose to leave "Orient are" (Isn't that where they were from?) We three kings from Orient are ... ;) They could've waited for a messenger to bring them news.
~ They chose to risk going to Herod in order to find the King of the Jews under the star. They could've tried to "talk to the locals" instead of going right to the not-so-friendly, slightly mad, man in charge.
~ They chose to leave their Eastern home and come to Jerusalem. They could've stayed home, thinking that if He was really a king, He would eventually come East.
~ They chose to rejoice greatly when they found the King. They could've remained dignified and considered their own expedition the success.
~ They chose to fall down when they worshiped Him. They were wise men; they could've remained standing, especially when they saw that the King was a baby!
~ They chose to unpack their treasures and give them away to the Baby. They may've decided that they should keep something to use to bargain their way back out of Jerusalem and away from Herod.
~ They chose to heed the divine dream warning and go back without seeing Herod. They could've chalked the dream up to bad olives with dinner or too much oil with their bread ... holy heartburn!
So many choices on the pathway to choosing to give priority to the holy. But they chose the holy and were some of the early worshipers of Jesus the King. Read the account in Matthew 2:1-12.
So how can we choose holy on this December day?
~ When I write our Christmas letter, I can give God the credit for His blessings and work, instead of just talking "soccer games, vacations, and career transitions."
~ When I stop by our neighborhood party, I can go speak words of encouragement to a neighbor and be Jesus to those on my street, instead of talking about the mailman, the barking dog, the landscaping, or the punch.
~ When I turn on my car stereo, I can choose music that focuses on the coming of the King to earth, instead of always tuning in to something that makes me bounce like a life sized jingle bell in a sweater.
~ When we finish dinner, we can take time to read scripture that declares the Advent, instead of just making sure we don't miss the Christmas "special" that night.
~ When I choose gifts for loved ones, I can invest in their spiritual joy, instead of only in their temporary happiness.
So many small choices on the way to "bringing holy back" to Christmas. Like the wise men on my mantel and those from "Orient are," we have to leave the familiar place and journey to make holy things a priority. We make one choice at a time and then find ourselves fallen and in worship before the King of the world!
How will you "choose the holy" this week?