Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas tree of life

Today the wonderful Sarah is having her Christmas tree party. Of course I want to participate, but we haven't finished decorating our tree. I pondered that fact and I thought to myself, "I feel guilty that we haven't already finished the decorating and put all the boxes away."

And then I realized how many times over the past few days I've heard people speak of feeling guilty.

"I feel guilty that I didn't put up a tree this year," or "I feel guilty that our tree is artificial," or "I feel guilty that we cut down a live tree for Christmas."

"I feel guilty that I haven't made any Christmas cookies," or "I feel guilty that I've eaten too many Christmas cookies."

"I feel guilty that I can't give my kids what they want for Christmas," or "I feel guilty that I've bought my kids too much for Christmas."

Is there no end to it?

Of course, we feel guilty because we are guilty, and we know it. Every single one us is flawed. We all come up short. Not one of us is perfect.

But the very reason we celebrate Christmas is that the Lord of all Creation loved us enough to save us. He didn't leave us in our flaws and shortcomings. The Christ of Christmas is the One who came to earth and lived as a human in order to show us what a life without shortcomings would look like. And then He gave up his life in order for us to released from the guilt of our own sins and to live in freedom.

I think the words of the old hymn put it best:

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free--
For God, the just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.*

Full of shortcomings though we are, our guilt has been taken away--cleansed by the One whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.  Because of Jesus, we can live a life that's no longer ruled by sin.

Christ was born to give us life that is truly life.

My prayer this season is that your Christmas tree be more than a symbol of beauty and merriment. May it be a tree of life for you.

*"Before the Throne of God Above" by C.L. Bancroft


melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

amen and amen. thank you for this...xo

Blondie's Journal said...

Very well put, Richella. I always wonder if I am doing enough and that brings on the guilt.

Wonderful post.


Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Richella, your tree is stunning even if it isn't finished and of course you just shared the true meaning of Christmas!!
I am having a giveaway!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Great post and AMEN to that! I always feel guilty because I can't get the kids everything they want and my time has been so short this year I haven't done everything I usually would, YET. But you're totally right! No more guilt!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Richella, oh your tree is beautiful, whether or not it is fully decorated yet. I think blogging just puts even MORE pressure on all of us than before we got sucked into this world. I love your thoughts & message, so true. We do need to let go of the expectations (and guilt) and enjoy the season for what it really is. Hope, redemption, peace. xoxo

Beth@The Stories of A2Z said...

Amen sister! And your tree is gorgeous!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I love your tree. Things do all finally get done, so no reason for guilt. Enjoy the whole process. Hugs, Marty

Melissa Miller said...

Wonderful post! Amen, Richella.
Your tree is gorgeous! :)

Trisha @ The Sweet Survival said...

Wonderfully said! Thank you for posting this.

Nadir@StitchSense said...

Beautifully said Richella. This year, I'm feeling more guilty for not making more gifts as opposed to just going out & buying them & I know I need to let go of that. Thank you for that reminder. And your tree is just stunning all lit up :-)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

How perfect because I was thinking of this same thing earlier, feeling GUILTY as I sat in the Chick-fil-a drive thru with the girls...feeling guilty for dragging them out running errands with me, and feeling guilty for taking an easy out and buying lunch instead of coming home to make it. :s Thank you, thank you.

Your tree is beautiful, by the way. :)

Shelia said...

Amen, Dear Richella! This is a wonderful reminder of how Jesus has taken our guilt from us and we're free in Him!
Your tree is beautiful too.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

HeathahLee said...

Richella! What a beautiful tree! And a beautiful post to go along with it. I needed to hear that message.

Vanessa said...

Perfect Richella! Thanks so much for bringing it all into perspective in such a beautiful and grace filled way. My biggest issue as a believer has been dealing with perpetual guilt over just about everything, big or small. I am finally at a place where I don't just know that incredible forgiveness and mercy in my head but I feel it in my heart and soul too!
Bless you for sharing this today!

Lifeaswearelivingit said...

Beautiful home. So cozy. Love it!

Kristi said...

Thank you so much for sharing your musings's what I really needed to 'hear.' Blessings, my friend ~ Kristi

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

Beautiful words and so true. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

The Pleasures of Homemaking said...

Richella your tree is looking lovely! My dear, I have my tree up but not one ornament on it yet not even the lights. We spent hours working on a puzzle yesterday when we could have (some might say should have) been decorating the tree. I think blogging and all these parties puts pressure on people to have stuff ready and then they end up not enjoying the process.

I hope you have a happy and blessed Christmas!


Melanie said...

You are so beautiful. I always come to your blog and you have always written something so meaningful and thought provoking. I don't know if you know how much of a testimony and an encourager you are. I am always uplifted and educated when I read your post.

Thank you for being you and being so wonderful.

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