Swallowed any camels lately? In Matthew 23, Jesus is really coming down pretty hard on the religious establishment, the Pharisees. He calls them blind guides and hypocrites more than once in the tirade. Jesus seems very concerned that they attempt to make a really good presentation, but lack the inner substance to back it up. They were majoring in the minors and leaving the camel in the middle of the room unattended…and what a mess that ended up making of things!
How many of our homes are decorated for Christmas, both inside and out, but our hearts are sorely unattended to? How many parties and functions will we go to, dressed in our holiday best, but not even considering our spiritual attire? How many gifts will be purchased to impress spouses, lovers, kids and grandkids, bosses, and friends while the greatest gift we can give to the One who deserves it most will be either ignored or stretched so thin that little would even remain to give?
I read a post online by someone recently who was going on about how much they love Advent. They love the songs, the parties, the shopping, the eats. It made my heart sad. The purpose of Advent is not to get the world around us ready for the biggest gift giving day of the year. The purpose of Advent is to reflect on the greatest gift ever given and to be sure that our hearts are ready to receive it.
The Wisemen rode camels to find Jesus. That seems a much wiser thing to do than to swallow one and miss the Master.