While I was growing up, every Christmas Eve, my parents would bring out the walnuts and popcorn jar. At that time, I didn’t quite understand the meaning behind this activity, but now I completely get it. I appreciate my parents for showing us the true meaning of this time of year, but I think it can be for the entire year.
You see, it was a simple glass jar full of popcorn and walnuts. They would bring out the jar and a big bowl. My dad would empty the jar into the bowl and start talking to us about Christmas. He started to talk about all of the things that we do at Christmas time. We would talk about things like buying gifts, going caroling, eating candy canes, and seeing Christmas lights. He would fill up the jar with the popcorn. Then he would lead our conversation to the more important things about Christmas: Jesus coming to earth, being with family, and reading the Bible story about Christmas. He would put in a walnut for each important thing about Christmas. To our surprise, they wouldn’t fit in the jar. Impossible! We just saw them all in the jar just a minute ago!
He would then go about telling us that when we fill up our time with the unimportant things first, we don’t have time for the most important things. Then he would empty the jar again. He would then start filling the jar with the walnuts first…the important things…then he would pour the popcorn over it and it all fit! When we remember and do what is important first, then there will still be time for the other things. Not that the unimportant things are bad, they aren’t! They just have their place and we need to remember that.
Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Keep Christ first and all else will follow.