The Christmas Tree ornaments were very excited to be taken out of their box, ready for the decoration of the tree.
But some ornaments found that they had been broken in storage over the year, and were very worried about what would happen to them.
They talked to each other about what might happen to ornaments which were not good enough any more.
Their worst fears came true and, without any attempt to mend them, the broken ornaments were thrown in the big rubbish bag outside the house.After a terrible night, during which the bin bags were attacked by cats, the broken ornaments were very surprised when a young man came by and spoke to them. He knocked on the door of the house and asked for permission to take the broken ornaments to his workshop.The inhabitants of the smart house were very surprised to hear that anyone wanted their discarded rubbish, but they let him take the ornaments away.So the young man, who was a master craftsman, got to work. He removed the broken pieces and scrappy bits from the ornaments, and added new pieces where they were needed.One of the ornaments had lost heart, and asked what could possibly be done to mend him.
The master crafstman amazed him by spending time and care on him, finally turning him into one of the most beautiful ornaments of all. He was put on the tree in the craftsman's home, and it was the most beautiful tree the ornaments had ever adorned!We were left to reflect on the meanings of this sweet little play. For me, I thought about how our societies reject people who seem 'wrong' or 'broken' in some way. I also thought about how our obsession with perfection leads to us throwing away wonderful things that could be mended - are the Sunday Club teachers doing the Challenge of the Utmost Kind? I also reflected on how we consider ourselves broken or unworthy at times, like Max the red bauble.The master craftsman is of course, an essential character in the play. The ornaments couldn't make themselves clean and tidy on their own - they needed someone to see their potential, who had the unique skills to perfect them.And this sums up the reason for my faith, I think. The two extremes of human nature are for us to think that we're rubbish and, paradoxically, for us to feel superior to others and worthy in our own right. It's very odd that we're able to hold those two views of ourselves at the same time, but that's me, for sure! Jesus is the bridge between the two for me - the master craftsman who sees my potential instead of my faults, and has done what it takes to make me genuinely fit for use!
So for me, preparing for Christmas is preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I love to do this with food and ornaments, and it's right to do it with family and friends. But the centre of it all is Jesus.
Thanks for taking the time to read this little ramble about my faith - I don't often talk about the reasons for it, but if not now, when?