Christmastime Day Four
December 29, 2018
By Elaine Friedrich
Written by Sherri Holder
Building a Firm Foundation
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. -1 Corinthians 3:10-17
As I prepare for a Christmas season and the New Year, this scripture really hits home. What is my foundation? What am I celebrating?
I look forward to Christmas and the New Year, and dread it at the same time. I LOVE to decorate, and Christmas is like my Super Bowl. I put up eight trees in my house: the formal tree, the kid tree, the hunting tree, the Gone with the Wind Tree, Briley’s tree, Trent’s tree, the Cross tree, and the tree on the deck because I wanted a fresh cut tree, but have a dog.
I agonize over the perfect gift to give to everyone, from my husband to the safety officer at the school. I build excel schedules for the menu, the gifts, and to make sure the kiddos are being treated equally. I’ve ended up stressing myself out so much, there was no enjoyment at all.
At times I have fought to redirect my family to the true meaning of Christmas. We have celebrated Jesus’ birth with a birthday cake. I have told family that we didn’t want to exchange gifts, but to give to those in need. I only put up two trees. I added an eighth tree decorated with crosses to remind myself what I was celebrating. Still my focus was not where it needed to be. I was focused on the building, not the foundation.
There has been that feeling that there is too much going on, stress over the season, and emptiness when all my “work” just didn’t live up to expectations. After praying over this scripture, I have come to realize that in getting caught up in the holiday, I was missing out on the foundation of Christmas. I was focusing on Xmas and not CHRISTmas. Christmas represents the greatest, and only gift, we will ever need. The birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. Whether you get socks and sit at home alone or are surrounded by friends and family and get the gift you really wanted, what really counts is whether you are celebrating the gift given to us by God and the birth of his earthly son. If that is your foundation for celebration, then there is no letdown. The rest is just gold, wood, hay, or straw. What really matters is what it is built on: the foundation.
As we celebrate Christmastime, I encourage you to reflect on your foundation. What foundation are you laying down for yourself and your family? As the season gets hectic, remind yourself what we are celebrating. The gifts of Christmas 2018 will soon be forgotten, no one will remember if your Christmas lights were perfect, or which side item you brought to dinner. What will be left for all of eternity is the foundation of faith that you have built. Lay down the strong foundation! And if you see me around town with my excel schedule and notebook please feel free to remind me as well. We all need a helpful reminder sometimes!