One of my favorite games is “Madlibs” – when you ask a friend or group of friends to give you various words that you plug into a story then read out loud. The random and usually silly stuff they give can cause hilarious results. Tonight we went to a family Christmas service at church and heard the leaders create a madlib with the Christmas story. We ended up with Mary wrapping Baby Jesus in a shirt, then “pantsing” him, then the angels telling the shepherds to look for a unicycle laying in a banana boat and saying “Peace on earth and moms to men.” The leaders pointed out that when we fill in the blanks of Christmas with random or silly things it can be fun but it loses its real meaning.
I love that illustration. I started off this season being able to more easily fill the blanks with Jesus, reading the story in the Bible verse by verse, blogging, etc. Mostly because there wasn’t really any way to fill them with shopping and spending. I had a lot of peace, surprisingly so. This week we were blessed by some generous people and were able to shop for family, ship packages, and even go out to dinner. I quickly found myself getting back in that mindset of thinking what I wanted to buy or spend on and was losing my focus. I was slipping back into “madlib” mode and filling the blanks with material and temporary stuff. It usually makes me restless instead of peaceful.
There’s nothing wrong with buying presents for the people we love, and I’m still sooo thankful to those loving people for giving to us, but it’s a great reminder for me to keep things in perspective and fill my heart and thoughts with the real words from the best story/event ever: angels, glory, baby, God, Jesus, Joseph, Mary, firstborn son, Bethlehem, shepherds, amazed, good news, peace to all men…Savior.