As a child I loved tinsel. Today it is nearly impossible to find a box of the ornamental silvery strands. In fact, just mentioning tinsel dates me.
At Christmas time tinsel lined the shelves of the local five and dime stores, right in there with the large colored electric bulbs and the delicate glass-blown ornaments.
I remember feeling horrified when I saw someone throw handfuls of tinsel at their tree, leaving large clumps, hither and yon. I guess to me there was something ceremonially reminiscent of the time of year, as we thoughtfully placed each strand of tinsel on the perfect bough.
Each thin strand of metallic garland shimmered under the lights of the tree, creating a magical icicle affect that mesmerized young and old alike.
When the season was over, and the tree was taken down the first thing to leave the tree was the tinsel. Each icicle strand was carefully laid in its long, thin box to use again the following year. “Yes,” frugality at its best!
But over the years of using, re-using and storing our tinsel it would become tarnished, crimped from storage, and its metallic tone would lack its silvery luster. In order for tinsel to grace our tree the following year a new box would need to be purchased and the old disposed of.
I know this is no real comparison; but as a young girl I would lay beneath the lighted fragrant boughs, draped with ornamental memories. I would lay mesmerized by the fairylike blur of lights, bulbs and silvery strands of tinsel; each playing off the other, catching the light. Squinting one eye and then the next I would capture a magical picture of something gloriously – mysterious to a young child’s heart.
Prior to Christmas the presents would slowly gather beneath the laden tree. I’m not sure why, but I took it upon myself to be “the arranger of the gifts;” each gift propped and posed in perfect order, adding to the wondrous atmosphere of the season.
To a young girl’s heart this was glorious. Christmas splendor at its best. Magnificent and full of beauty, delightful wonder and grandeur beyond words.
But as I think about the true meaning of glory, there is just one word that I can use to describe it’s true meaning – JESUS!
“So, the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” (John 1:14 NLT)
God’s glory shines out for us to see, not only at Christmas, but all year through. His glory never falters, fades or loses its luster. He is Glory! And His glory shines out in the darkness of this sin-sick world.
He calls us to come. To dispose of what does not satisfy. To lay-aside all that has lost its luster, the fake imitations of Christ. And he calls us to behold Him as Glory.
Take time to lay beneath the boughs of His goodness. Receive His sacrificial gift of love. Rest in the hope he gives. To come boldly, often, regularly and adore Him. Glory! Christ the Lord.
What would it take to stop in the rush of this season and reflect on the Glory of God?
Dear Jesus, I lift my heart before You today. You are such a giving God. I do not deserve your gifts. They are faithfully given to me each day and through-out the night.
Your Presence is one gift you give and your Strength, yet another. Your Hope for what is not yet here is wrapped with your Omniscience. You, O God, are the giver of abundant life. You freely give from and of yourself. You do not hesitate to see if we are deserving to receive your gifts – you just extend and offer up.
I stand amazed as I do not deserve the gifts of your love. Lavishly filled with the exact thing that I need the most today; Your Love, Your Strength, Your Joy, Your Wisdom, Your Presence, Your Peace, Your Guidance. I could go on and on! You give full to overflowing.
I love You LORD! The world’s gifts are tinsel that tarnish and lose their appeal; but Your amazing love endures forever and is guaranteed to pass on from generation to generation to all who will place their trust in You alone!
It is in Jesus Name that I pray. Amen!
* For further reading: (John 3:16; Lamentations 3:22-23; Jeremiah 29:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; 1 John 3:1; Psalms 46:1-11)
“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim Your unfailing love in the morning, Your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by the ten-stringed harp and the melody of the lyre.”
(Psalm 92:1-3 NLT)
“You thrill me, LORD; with all You have done for me! I sing for joy because of what You have done. O LORD, what great works You do! And how deep are Your thoughts. You O LORD, will be exalted forever.”
(Psalm 92:4,5,8 NLT)
Photographs were taken by Linda Jane.
The Glory of God is vividly shown in the roof top pictures, taken from the 40 story building where Linda Jane lives with her husband Joel in Manila, Philippines.