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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A White Elephant Christmas

Every year at our deacon/elder/staff Christmas dinner we have a "white elephant" gift exchange.

It is always a lot of fun - this year's exceptionally so.

One disclaimer: I walked away with two, real, authentic, "raggedy Ann" dolls, which I will promptly give to my granddaughter when I see her.

I came across something today that is challenging, especially during this Christmas season.

The bottom line: We must continue to put Christ first this Christmas.

By now, if you are like me, you have reach that stage of "Holiday Exhaustion" that leaves you sitting in a dimly lit room with drool running down the side of your face," mumbling, "when is it ever going to end, when is it ever going to end."

I exaggerate (for those of you who need that disclaimer) to make a point.

No matter how hard I try to focus on Christ, it is easy to get distracted.

Let me give you this quote from Pastor John Huffman:

"One year we hosted the annual church staff Christmas luncheon at our home. We exchanged "white elephant" gifts, laughing until something stopped all of our fun.

The tenth or so person to pick a gift lifted from a gift bag a little baby Jesus in a manger. My wife, Anne, was stunned when she saw it. It looked just like the central figure in the nativity scene that was on our living room table.

She left the room to check our nativity set, and sure enough, the baby Jesus figurine was missing. Somehow it had fallen off the table and into the gift bag on top of the tissue paper in which the real gift was wrapped. We all had a good laugh and returned Jesus to the nativity scene.

The more I thought about it, though, this little incident was quite telling. So often Jesus is swept off center stage in all of our Christmas festivities, relegated to a kind of "white elephant" status. How sad, when he is so central!"

Just a thought for a Tuesday....

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