by Terry Ruff
This morning, as I read beyond Jesus’ triumphal entry in Mark 11, to him driving out the money changers from the temple, I reflected on what we have made Christmas—similar to what was done to the temple. Instead of celebrating our Savior’s birth, it has turned into a time of commercialism and consumerism. We have money-changers selling their wares to frantic shoppers for great profit, and we have desecrated the true meaning of Christmas. I sometimes wonder what Jesus thinks as He looks down from His throne and sees the Christmas frenzy. A time of Holy celebration has become a robbers’ den with consumerism at an all-time high during Christmas. And here I am among the throng trying to get my last minute deals to put under my Christmas tree. Christmastime brings out the best and worst in us. It is a time when people give the most to charities and good causes, but it also a time when we are trying to get the most… and worry if there are enough presents for everyone. I am so guilty of all of this. I wish I could turn back time to the beginning when Jesus was really the reason for the season and not just an over-used cliché phrase we throw around. A time when simple gifts were given out of hearts full of love for our Savior and mankind. A time when we helped our fellow man out of love because the Holy Spirit compels us to. A time when rich and poor worshipped alike, because it wasn’t about gifts. I wonder if Christmas like that ever really existed, but I sure want it to. Yet I am a woman who loves all the trappings of Christmas and decks out my house, bakes up a storm, and an overflow of presents surround my tree. But there are times when I’m quiet, and I hear the Holy Spirit remind me what Christmas is really all about. The birth of our Savior, come down from His throne to be born in a manger and die on a cross bearing my sins, so that I may live eternally with Him. Oh the ache of His goodness and love burn inside me today. Later I will continue on with all my holiday plans and love all the traditions my family has created, but I pray I feel the ache of Jesus’ sacrificial love a little deeper this year and share His goodness to more than in Christmases past. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me well beyond and despite the Christmas frenzy. Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest
Terry Ruff is a wife, a mother, a sister, and a daughter of the One True King. She is a Michigan girl who has been transplanted to Greenville, South Carolina and is loving it. She has worn many hats in her years in church, but none has blessed her more than being a children’s Sunday school teacher. She loves learning and teaching God’s word. She is a life-long student of Christ, for His Word is life to her.
“In Him was life and the life was the Light of men.” John1:4