Seeing Beauty without Decorations

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In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

–Phil 2:5-11


It’s interesting that Christmas is synonymous with decorations, for at its core, Christmas is not about putting on beauty, but about taking it off.

At the first Advent, Jesus set aside glory for humility. We didn’t tidy up for the earth or our lives for him before he came. There was no level of decoration that could have been appropriate anyway. This wasn’t about our actions, it was about His.


Holy God, as we put our decorations up for You, may we remember how You took Yours off for us. This season, may we stay in touch with the fantastic, unbelievable, radical love shown through the humility of the incarnation. May the beauty of that act of love overwhelm us more deeply than any other beauty we see. And may we be willing to love others just as radically. Amen.


Evermore – Phil Wickham

“Humble King, Sovereign Lord, He shall reign forevermore.”




Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.