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Friday, December 9, 2016

Cats in a Christmas Tree

Cats in a Christmas tree.

Its cute but so frustrating.

You spend hours decorating the tree, making it look beautiful and perfect, then the cats get in it and pretty much destroy all your hard work. They love to climb up the middle of the tree, knocking things off as they go deeper and higher. There is no point trying to keep them out, they will find a way to do what they want to do.

I was sitting here this morning looking at my once pretty tree that has now been consumed by my cats, and it came to me that its a great symbolism of our lives.

We dress ourselves up, make ourselves look pretty on the outside, but then sin comes in and destroys us from the inside out.  Sin wreaks havoc on our facade of perfection, knocking off the pretty bows and sequins we use to make ourselves look pretty.  We walk into church on Sundays looking our best, but inside we are a total mess.  

I come home from work, I assess the mess and begin trying to put things back where they were. The cats cower in fear of me because they know they did something wrong.  Guilt comes in.   I rearrange the ornaments, fix the branches, reattach the lights, all in an effort to make the tree look presentable again.  But, they always come back for more! 

Isn't that just like what Jesus does for us?  We let sin in, it destroys our temple, then we see the destruction it has caused, feel guilt and then invite Jesus in to fix the mess.  He does.  He always will.  That's what His grace is all about.  We come to him broken, messy, destroyed by our sin, and he makes it new again.  He picks up the pieces of our brokenness and while its never as pretty as it once was because of the cracks, its still standing.   Jesus' mission on earth was to neutralize our guilt.
His death and resurrection provide an unlimited source of the forgiving relief that we all need.

Psalm 32:3, 5 King David wrote "When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long...I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD" - and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Every day I leave my house in hopes that I come home and the cats have finally learned to leave the tree alone.  That they won't sin anymore.  Every evening I come home to find a mess.  Somedays its just a small mess, somedays its a big one!  But every day, I try to fix it and then I love on them.  I see them hiding and I reach out and pet them and tell them I love them and let them know they are still welcome in my home.

That's exactly what Jesus does.  No matter how bad we mess up, how broken we are, He comes in and picks up the pieces and rearranges our hearts, then He loves us.  He doesn't scold, he holds.  He wraps His arms around us and lets us know we are still welcome in His house.  

The Christmas Tree is a symbol of the life and rebirth and stamina.  We have all of that in Jesus.  He died so we could be new.  Born again into His family.  No matter how bad we mess up, He will always love us. 
Its the best gift of all.  Don't you think??