About 3,000 years ago the wisest man who ever lived wrote a HUGE best seller.
A real wick-burner about CHRISTMAS.
The funny thing is . . . Christmas was still 1,000 years off.
His name was Solomon, king of Israel.
Here was one savvy author. A man who had unrolled a few scrolls in his day—who could handle himself with a quill. His market research nailed exactly what future readers would need come December.
C’mon, you say. Dusty ages ago, some guy was scratching on a sheepskin about hanging wool stockings over a fireplace?
He knew about Bing Crosby? And parking lot jams on Black Friday?
He foresaw my bloated VISA bill? Grasped the awkwardness of eye contact with those earnest bell-ringers standing by their red kettles? Knew about pine needles in my face when dragging in the tree?
Though I can understand your amazement.
After all . . .
. . . his family was Jewish. They weren’t sure about a holiday that promotes plastic, plug-in reindeer on the front lawn.
His mother probably said,
“What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing—writing about Christmas?”
But Solomon forged ahead, sensing a definite trend on the horizon. His blockbuster would be about:
Getting Through the Holidays
For as you know, if there’s one time of year when things may not go as planned . . .
. . . it’s December.
What to buy Aunt Edith?
Credit card Judgment Day
Crawling in the attic for decorations
Relatives out of a horror flick
Fall-asleep office parties
One shopping day left
Dinner without the kids
Dinner with the in-laws
Spending Christmas alone
Unreturnable “you-shouldn’t-have” gifts
So, Solomon wrote his little book. (Good things come in small packages.)
He called it Proverbs. It’s helpful in an everyday, tie-your-shoes, commonsense way.
. . . and very Christmasy.
Not sure you can picture Solomon in a green and red sweater?
Think about it.
Any writer who pens:
“The coolness of snow . . . refreshes the spirit”Proverbs 25:13
is all about December.
Any poet with an eye for
“an ornament of fine gold”Proverbs 25:12
understands readers willing to wrestle an evergreen into the living room.
Any author waxing lyrical that
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart”Proverbs 27:9
would surely savor the whiff of yuletide candles named Spruce Forest or Vermont Sugar Cookie.
And any man rolling his eyes about:
“‘It’s no good, it’s no good!’ says the buyer—who then goes off and boasts about the purchase”Proverbs 20:14, author’s paraphrase
feels for the cornered husband held at fingernail point by his wife ’til she’s finished recounting her exploits in the mall. Still not convinced?
Consider Solomon’s little zinger below. Tell me he never envisioned waking up to pajama-clad urchins, like Wee Three Kings, avalanching down the stairs, bearing squeals giggles and whoopifications
WAY TOO EARLY
. . . on Christmas Day. Here’s how he put it:
“If you shout a pleasant greeting to your neighbor too early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse!”Proverbs 27:14 NLT
You can bet your Macy’s card, Solomon knows Christmas. He gets the stress of the year’s twelfth month.
He shares his wisdom about it in Proverbs. The book in your hand sums up what he wrote.
Rummaging through these pages, you’ll find he knows your Christmas.
He’s practically been hiding in your chimney.
Excerpted from A Better December by Steve Estes. ©2013 New Growth Press. May not be reprinted or reposted without permission.
A BETTER DECEMBER: PROVERBS TO BRIGHTEN CHRISTMAS
Know someone frazzled, sad, or lonely this Christmas? A Better December by Steve Estes applies Solomon’s Proverbs to holiday stresses. Playful and tiny, this illustrated work would be a good gift for your unbelieving friends as it gently introduces Jesus during a month when they are more receptive.