Once upon a time there were three little bears. No, I’m not telling the wrong Christmas story and every detail of this is 100% true. Three little bears are my most treasured Christmas decoration. Sitting 1 ½ inches high, they are hard as walnut shells because that’s what they are made from. Their drab brown fur and dull red Santa hats look like they were etched by a child. You probably wouldn’t notice them, but the most treasured Christmas decoration came with a price – my blood.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Unlike last year, I decorated my own house for Christmas. Let me clarify, I have no talent for decorating, but I climbed the stairs repeatedly over three days to haul my decorations down. My snow village houses still sit snugly in their stryofoam boxes in the attic, but for the first time since I got sick, some of my décor escaped the shelves of the cold storage area to once again fill my house with Christmas. There is a story behind nearly every piece. Of course there is.
One of my most treasured memories from Christmas past is decorating the tree. When the kids were little we all wore Santa hats and sipped creamy egg nog. For the record, I’ll go ahead and admit, I have more ornaments than branches to hang them. Still, I could never resist a Christmas souvenir when we traveled. There’s an iguana from Costa Rica, a starfish painted like Santa and a moose in an overturned canoe given in return for a freezing water rescue on the Snake River. Year after year, I held each ornament by the hanger and asked, “Do you remember where we got this?” It wasn’t a hard test, because my family got a lot of practice. I inherited my love for tradition from my mom, but I’m adapting to treasuring old memories and making new ones.
Worth the price
I married young and we were poor. No really, we lived in my grandfather’s trailer park and occasionally he subsidized our rent. As a medical student, I donated my high-demand O positive blood for a ten dollar coupon which was redeemable in the bookstore or gift shop. Back then, we didn’t have money for Christmas decorations so I used my voucher to buy the three little bears. Maybe they don’t look special to you, but to me they are priceless. They represent a hard place and a high price – my blood.
1 Peter 1:18-19, “Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know.” MSG
He paid with Christ’s sacred blood
Can you even imagine?
Jesus purchased you with His blood, not a pint, but every drop. His life, His last breath, His righteousness given to redeem you as His own. His most treasured decoration is you. No matter how insignificant you feel, you are His prize and He displays you for His glory. You may think your colors are dull and your features haphazard, but you are enough because you were bought at a price. Imagine how He treasures you and wants you to honor Him.
1 Corinthians 6:20, “You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” NIV
One of the bears holds a sign that reads, “JOY”
Hebrews 12:2, “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” NLT
Yeah, joy requires endurance. Semi-reclined in the vinyl-covered chair, I turned my head as the beveled needle punctured the vein in the crook of my arm. The viscous red liquid flowed through the tubing and quickly filled the bag. I laid my head back and fought the dizziness because ten dollars was worth a pint of my blood.
Jesus left Heaven ~ because you are worth it
He suffered rejection, ridicule and agony ~ because you are worth it
He gave His life ~ because you are worth itChristmas is about leaving #ChristCameToEarth #Emanuel Click To Tweet
The most treasured Christmas decoration is you. Christmas is about Christ leaving Heaven because you are worth it. Jesus hung on a tree to give you life. He created you for His glory, so get out there and shine. Share the love of Christ, you are His treasure.
You are the most treasured Christmas decoration.