Your Decorations Are Worship

by Ashley Ross
Despite the lack of snow, Los Angeles never ceases to amaze me when it comes to her transformation around the Christmas season. Empty lots on street corners, normally overgrown with weeds, are trimmed bare and become evergreen forests overnight. Streetlights are laden with garlands and bulbs, and dwelling places from sprawling mansions to the smallest shared apartments are adorned with lights, bows, and cheer. Call me overzealous, but sometimes I can even detect a trace scent of pine and cinnamon in our hazy air. It’s as if with every detail the city is proclaiming: Christmas is here, and that’s special.

And I have to wonder, what is it about the Christmas season that inspires people everywhere to decorate? Is the hoopla inherent to the holiday, or do we just really like things that sparkle?

Sparkle affinities aside, I believe the answer lies in the mind-bending reality of the Incarnation. When the Word became flesh, it wasn’t a simple change of clothing as when (spoiler alert) the guy at the mall puts on a Santa suit. In the Incarnation, the God of the universe, the King of all creation, voluntarily descended from the throne where he was rightly worshiped, and crossed an unfathomable chasm to get to us. He ripped open the boundaries of space and time so that he could enter into them. He confined himself to finitude and flesh in order that those made in the flesh could be redeemed and reconciled to him. Essentially, the Creator donned what he had created, and creation would never be the same because of it. As the introduction of a new character fundamentally changes a story, so the entire paradigm of existence was changed when God stepped into it. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ completely altered the trajectory of mankind – and it all began with Christmas.

With this profound truth in mind, we can look at Christmas decorations in a different light (pun intended). Quite simply, we intentionally change our space during this season because the world changed when Jesus entered it. When you put up a wreath, Christmas tree, Nativity scene, Advent calendar, or any variation of Christmas decor, you’re not just putting out seasonal adornments. You’re testifying that the world is fundamentally different because the Messiah has come. And by the way, the decor need not be inherently religious in nature to testify to this. Simply placing something in your home because it is beautiful and brings you joy is still a reflection of this truth, because Jesus himself is beautiful and the bringer of deep joy. We can intentionally create an atmosphere of beauty and joy because Jesus provides beauty and joy for us.

I’d encourage you this Christmas season to decorate with intention and allow the things you display to remind you of the One who changed the world with His Advent.

We will be doing this very thing as a church family on Saturday, December 2nd, between 3-7pm. All are welcome to come help decorate our gathering spaces, enjoy Christmas treats and hot cocoa, listen to Christmas music, and fellowship together as we deck the Cornerstone halls and take a moment before the season begins to welcome the Christmas season together.
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