Welcome to the Christmas Carol series! As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, each post this month features the title of a familiar Christmas carol. I’m praying each post provides you with a Christ-centered focus for the season and of course, plenty of hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
This week’s feature is “Deck the Halls.”
I spotted this house’s facade in a local shopping mall. These halls were clearly decked with their bright lights and Christmas decor. From the wreath on the door to the icicles lining the roof, it is designed to get passers-by into the holiday mood.
If you are a fan of holiday style (and I am), you know attention-getting displays are timely to assemble. I’m sure it took several hours, perhaps even days, to construct the house and cabins to create the mall’s Christmas village.
But Bethlehem was the first Christmas village and it gives us a much different picture. The scene in a stable over two thousand years ago provided humble surroundings for the Savior’s arrival. As animals settled in for the night, Mary and Joseph settled into the only place available to give birth to the Christ child.
A manger cradled the King. The brightest lights were the stars navigating the Magi and shepherds to come and worship Him. The chill in the air was met by the warmth of God’s heart for human souls lost in their sin. If passers-by saw this scene they might have missed the miracle.
But because Jesus came miracles still happen. What do passers-by see as they look into our lives? Is there a dressed-up display, like the one in the mall or would they get a view of Christ’s marvelous redemption?
I’ve yet to put up my Christmas tree this year. But when I do, I’ll reflect on the scope of the miracle occurring within me. Sometimes the halls of my life seem complicated. The shadows of regret or cares of this world can turn sacred space into a messy scene.
Thankfully, time in prayer, reading Scripture or a heart-to-heart with family or friends, floods my soul with clarity, liberty and love. Sometimes this process takes time. When redemption is on display it’s not about what’s shiny; it’s about what’s eternally significant.
How decked are your halls? Whether you’re decorating a space or dealing with an issue of the heart, here’s some good news: When biblical truth and God’s love abide there, the halls of our lives are infused with new life. The “fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la” in the chorus of the beloved carol, echoes the hallelujah from a newly decked-out heart.
Through Christ, rebirth and adornment of the soul became possible for you and me. As we see beautiful decorations this year, I pray we’ll remember the lovely transformation He offers to us. It goes deeper than any facade and it brings hope to the heart and joy to the soul.
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” – Isaiah 61:10 NKJV
2 Corinthians 5:17