There’s a handful of people allowed to call me Chrissy, my dad being one of them. His nickname for me is “Christmas Chrissy.” He knows better than anyone the excitement I exhibited as a child counting down to Christmas. We loved our Christmas morning traditions. As a child and even up until recent years, the anticipation was all about the presents.
It’s true. This gal, raised in the church, enjoyed the tidings and traditions of the season from a mostly secular perspective; the to-do lists, the perfect presents, the gift wrap, and the parties were my focus. But as I’ve traveled recently through the most joyful journey—I finally get it. Now I know, it’s all about His presence.
As a kid, I never wanted for anything. My kids never wanted for anything. As a result, we’ve always had a tree overflowing with gifts. I can’t even recall a single gift I unwrapped last year. Huh.
Instead, I think on His presence and the miraculous birth of Jesus. And so, I needed some new traditions. Three years ago, starting each December 1, I read one chapter of Luke each morning leading up to Christmas day. 24 days through 24 chapters of Luke. It’s my new Christmas countdown that doesn’t include little pieces of chocolate tucked behind a calendar tab.
After the disappointments of 2020, I’m in a joy seeking journey through each chapter. The word joy and rejoice are mentioned in the scriptures often in Luke, but not always. Just like 2020, some stories are just hard. But it’s here in the hard stories where I’ve really pressed pause to find hidden gifts.
During this Christmas season, what gift will you offer Him?
In Luke chapter 7, we meet the sinful woman with an alabaster jar of perfume. A sinful woman from the city. No doubt this woman suffered many hardships.
But despite her impoverished life circumstances, this woman traveled to the feet of Jesus with her jar. To the shock of everyone in the house, she weeps over the feet of Jesus, wipes them with her hair, and pours out the contents of her alabaster jar on them. The homeowner, Simon, wasted no time in humiliating the woman; in turn, humiliating himself.
Jesus flipped Simon’s confrontation back on himself with some pointed questions.
Then He turned toward the woman said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.” Luke 7:44 ESV
He continued by reminding Simon that he neglected to give Him a kiss and anointing oil. The squirming Simon surely realized his mistake in not presenting Jesus a single welcome gift. Talk about an awkward moment.
On the other hand, look at the gift presented by the sinful woman! I wonder how in the world she came in possession of this alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Maybe it was a gift from one of her customers? Was it her most valuable worldly possession?
Imagine the scene in the house. Jaw-dropping! She likely chose her most precious gift to her to greet her new Savior. She chose a new life, a new tradition in following Jesus. And she very publicly chose to lay down at the feet of Jesus everything that represented her life of sin.
Jesus continued teaching Simon a lesson:
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47 NIV
I pause and think back on my early days as “Christmas Chrissy”. My perspective on this season has matured so much. I smile thinking maybe my heavenly Father would nickname me “Christmas Christine.” As we talk about this new tradition together, I share with Him my gratitude for my joyful journey of transformation and redeemed life of holy and healthy living. And I’ll lay a gift at His feet—an offering and sacrifice of my alabaster jar.
Friends, how would you respond to the question, “How much do I love Him?” During this Christmas season, what gift will you offer Him? Would you take your expensive alabaster jar and present it at His feet?
How about a new tradition? If you’re interested in one, I’d love to invite you to join me in my Christmas Countdown Through the Gospel of Luke.
©2020 Christine Trimpe, Christine Trimpe LLC
In this week’s guest post, my sweet friend Christine Trimpe, invites us to a Christmas Countdown like no other… to enjoy the gift of soaking in Jesus’ presence.
BIO: Christine Trimpe is a worship leader, writer, speaker, and joy seeker. On her joyful journey of healing and massive weight loss, God flipped the cravings of her soul, restored her body, renewed her mind, and redeemed her life. Christine believes will restore us with the strength to move mountains and live free in holy and healthy lifestyles. As Jesus calls her to share with audiences, her passion is to inspire, motivate, and encourage others to pursue their best life: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Her transformation story and social media links can be found at ChristineTrimpe.com.