Christmas decorating lessons brought to you by the letter ‘P’
1 Peter 4:10 says “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”
Christmas has been on my mind and on my work schedule for a few weeks already. I had been assigned to work with Carlos Velasquez, the conference center staff and even the maintenance crew to decorate the Territorial Headquarters common areas with Christmas trees, lights and nativity scenes. I like seeing things pretty but it’s just not my joy to make it happen. I half-heartedly approached the assignment. I just wanted to check it off my to-do list as soon as possible so I could get on with more important work. Many hours, yes hours, were spent discussing, planning, shopping, and preparing for the big decorating weekend. I’ll spare you the details about our numerous trips to AC Moore, Michael’s and Loew’s.
But I wish you could all experience working with Carlos on Christmas decorating. He really is a perfectionist, in the best sense, and has decorating detail down to a science. For example, while I was buying 30 lighted Bethlehem Stars to serve as ornaments, it wasn’t even a thought for me to make sure it was electrically possible. He had already figured out a plan to get them plugged in along with the thousands of other sparkling lights adorning the 10 foot tree.
His faithfulness throughout this long process reminds me to persevere in the face of struggles. None of us really wanted to decorate so he struggled against our reluctance. He persistently reminded us reluctant ones about the timeline to have all the supplies on hand for D(ecorating)-Day. He used his gift of perseverance when none of us really wanted to talk about decorations any more.
His faithfulness reminds me to take pleasure in the less desired tasks. Do my job well whether it’s at the office, church or home. Do my job well and take pleasure in my work because I want to be a faithful steward of God’s grace.
His faithfulness even reminds me to make it pretty. As Carlos cared about the aesthetics of the trees I need to care for myself physically. I am reminded that God cares about the deep concerns of my spiritual and emotional self but also the concerns of my physical self. So put the cookie down and take a walk.
His faithfulness reminds me to practice the presence of people as I’ve been reading Sacred Chaos by Tricia McCary Rhodes. We want to be mindful as we interact with one another. Be present and show God’s love.
Who would’ve thought that Christmas decorating would contain so many lessons in using the gifts that God has given us to serve others as a faithful steward of His wonderful grace? God has given each of us gifts to use. Use those gifts to serve others. Blessings to you this Christmas season!