I have known Melissa for a long time. FYI- watch out if you ever play the game Apples to Apples with her; she's a wizard at word association and will beat you. I think you'll see that skill used with the parallels she draws in her post today.
"But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." ~1 Corinthians 12:24b-26
Different families have different traditions. When it comes to Christmas, people tend to hold fast and strong to theirs. Take Christmas trees for example. While some find comfort in assembling the same old tannenbaum year after year, others seek the thrill of the annual pilgrimage to the best parking-lot-turned-makeshift-forest around. There, they weave in and out among freshly hewn firs, branches brushing softly against coat and glove, needles crunching sweetly underfoot, hunting down the perfect prize to bring home for the holidays.
Whether manufactured by God or man, once the tree is in place, the trimming may begin. Partiality to decorations is just as varied, if not more, than that of the actual tree. Colored lights, white lights, tinsel, garland, homemade ornaments, store-bought baubles, etc….the options are endless. However, once you’ve strung your lights and hung your last hook, then comes the pièce de résistance: the tree topper.
Traditionally, there are two types of toppers: angels and stars—fitting, since God crowned the sky with both to herald the coming of the King of Kings, Emmanuel, God with us. While angels appeared several times in the retelling of Christ’s birth, announcing the message and intentions of God, it was a silent star that shone brightly from on high guiding followers to the baby Jesus below.
There may no longer be a babe or manger to find, but God sends us heralds today all the same; stars and angels of a different sort who proclaim our Lord’s presence and direct us toward Him. They walk among us and sit beside us; illuminating lives with the light of Christ, echoing His truth in word and deed. Some verbalize the message of the Gospel, while others radiate the love of Christ through their actions. They speak to us, minister to us. God willing, they might even be us.
Traditions, opinions, and demeanors will always vary. While some would call those differences the bane of the church, I name them the beauty and the blessing of the body of Christ. They are what allow us to minister to each other, the joints at which we fit together, one in Him.
We are the members of the body of Christ.
We are His heralds.
We are His.
Melissa is the voice of InkinPink.com. Before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, Melissa earned her dual bachelor's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Journalism and Communication Arts. Since then, she has proofed, edited, and/or written dozens of books, articles, Web sites, grants, newsletters, and more in non-profit and corporate sectors. She specializes in writing, proofing, and editing relationship-building content for use in print and electronic marketing and fund raising. Ink in Pink started as “a site devoted to writing samples and general editorial commentary.” Over time, however, it has morphed more and more into a place for her to share whatever lessons she is learning. She writes about what and how God is teaching her. She doesn't know if her writing will change the world, but she does know that it changes her.
Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.