Yes, it's June and I've got Christmas Cookies on my mind. This morning I was reading Matthew 5 and as I reached verse 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." I laughed out loud because I had crossed out the word 'light' and replaced it with 'cookie' last December for our women's bible study Christmas party devotion...
Ladies, we are like Christmas Cookies. We may look similar in that we have the same general outline: one head, one trunk, two arms and legs, etc. But, looking just a little bit closer and we are all very different: head shape, hair color (which changes with age, and sometimes we change it with the season), eye color, height, weight (let's not go there too long) - there are so many subtle differences in our appearance that make us the individuals God created us to be. And, it's a good thing, otherwise how could we distinguish Mary from Martha?
Unfortunately, sometimes we get caught up in believing that we have to look a certain way, especially in Christian circles. We have to have certain clothing styles, or colors, or speak a certain phrase so everyone can identify us as a Christian. That thinking can be stifling. YOU were created to be YOU and not someone else! YOU are beautiful in your uniqueness! And, that is where the Christmas Cookies come in.
When baking Christmas Cookies, we take one cookie cutter, and cut out all the same shape cookies from one lump of dough and then lift the cutout and place it on the cookie sheet, decorate some and bake them, and some we bake first and then decorate. But, even as we move the dough from the counter to the baking sheet, each piece is just ever so slightly indented with our fingerprints and as it's laid out on the sheet is just a bit mishapen... like us, in life each of us has the marks of being handled whether that handling is gentle or rough or anything in between. Then the cookies are baked and even though all cookies rest on the same baking sheet and are in the same oven at the same temperature, some are baked perfectly, some slightly undercooked so they're a bit squishy in the center, and some browned just a bit too much so they're hard and crunchy around the edges... like us, even though we all are here surrounded in God's creation, some are seemingly perfect, some are more squishy than others and some of us can be hard and crunchy. But, we ALL are one of His creation, and we can trust Him with what we need whether it's a bit more bake time or a gentle touch to soften some of the hardness.
Now, when it comes to decorating, cookies can be sprinkled with colored sugar granules, cinnamon or silver sugar balls and then baked, or baked and then covered in sweet icings, but each one is decorated differently to make it unique. You and I can 'decorate' ourselves in whatever colors and styles we are drawn to and one isn't any more 'godly' than another - it's Jesus in us that brings the Godliness. So, go for the decorations that bring a smile to your face - if you like blue, then wear blue whether it's soft periwinkle or bright cobalt, whether it's your favorite old pair of jeans or a tropical flower in your hair - it's your choice. Be who you are and don't hold back. Our heavenly CREATOR created everything very diverse and unique and we are no exception. Let's celebrate that in ourselves and in each other! And, please enjoy my temporary 'revision' of Matthew 5:16:
"Let your cookie shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."