I read a story recently about a family searching for the perfect Christmas tree. It seems that during their search they looked for the perfect shape, the most fragrant smell, the tallest, and the greenest; the most perfect tree they could find. But in the midst of their search for the "perfect" Christmas tree, they always found at least one blemish or bare spot on every tree they inspected.
"Don't worry about it," said Dad, "We'll just put the bare spot against the wall ... no one will ever know that this tree is not a perfect Christmas tree." And so goes the "Christmas story" for many of us.
I can remember wanting Christmas to be "perfect." It was a time when we took all the family problems and "skeletons" and pretended that they did not exist - at least for a couple days. We acted like we didn't really have blemishes and "bare spots" in our life. We wanted everything to smell good, sound good, taste and look good. We wanted it to be "perfect" because ... well, because it's Christmas!
Like all families, we had relatives and immediate family members who "didn't get along" with other family members. But because it was Christmas, we "turned the bare spots" to the wall so no one would see our imperfections. This, of course, was all in an effort to not ruin Christmas.
And although my life these days has changed, I still have those times when I "turn the bare spots" toward the wall so no one can see my weaknesses. But as we ponder the Christmas story and have thoughts about choosing the perfect tree, I believe that we can all benefit from rethinking the "bare spot" on the tree - simply because it is Christmas! It's time we turn out "the bare spots" and blemishes of our lives for all to see - because this is why Christ came into our lives in the first place!
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, came to us on that first Christmas, lived with us, died for us, and was raised to life on our behalf simply to deliver us from all the blemishes and bare spots that keep us back and pull us down! Indeed, it's time to reveal the bare spot on your Christmas tree, and thank Jesus for his immeasurable gift this Christmas.
I'll see you in church, the grocery store, on Badger Trail, working out at the gym or around town.
You can e-mail Pastor Michael by visiting www.stjohnsumc.com.