I Corinthians 3:13
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."
Decorating for the holidays entails removing and packing away the baubles from the previous season. This job is usually bittersweet, as I ponder the things I may have missed or wished had been more perfect. My mother always said that when you finally cleaned up the last piece of Christmas tinsel it was time for Easter grass, and so the cycle revolves. I love to decorate with brightly colored autumn silk leaves, I scatter them on my porch floor and anywhere else that seems appropriate. In the fall, they inevitability get swept out onto the sidewalk and yard with the freshly fallen leaves. They aren't very remarkable until the real leaves begin to fade and become detritus. At this point it is very obvious that they are artificial. Sometimes it is not so easy to tell the artificial from the true, until the end of the season when it is painfully obvious. Penned Shakespeare in "The Merchant of Venice":
"All that glitters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgement old
Your answer had not been inscroll'd
Fare you well, your suit is cold."
Detecting the superficiality or artificiality in modern Christian culture is as easy as becoming supremely intimate with God through scripture. Certainly times change and the fads and fashions of the previous seasons change as well; although, the Truth remains the same. Don't be discouraged by the foibles and sins of other who claim to be "enlightened." Get to know God yourself through scripture reading and prayer. The genuine will be obvious. I Corinthians 3:13 speaks this truth,"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."
Lord, In Jesus' name, Thank You and praise You that we are able to know You through Your Word. Scripture says that Christ is the Logos, the living Word. Please help us to detect the artificial and cleave to Your Truth. Lord, help us to forgive and pray for people who mistreat us and harm others under the cloak of "religion." Lord, thank You for this time and this season and the assurance that You will set all things right. I love You. Amen.