What do you See at CHRISTMAS?
The light shone around them. The shepherds were terrified Luke 2:9
What did the shepherds see in this moment of terror?
What else did the shepherds see? When they ran into Bethlehem they went to where the baby and his parents were- a stable out behind an inn. When they went into the stable they saw Him- Jesus. A baby wrapped up and kept warm in the hay found in the feed trough. Around the baby were animals of different kinds- cows, donkeys, and sheep. They watched and were seen by the shepherds.
What did Mary and Joseph see that night? They met innkeepers who had no room for them even though Mary was obviously in labour and needing to rest. One innkeeper did empathize with them and enabled them to make a place of rest in their stable. This young couple saw animals who did not mind their presence with them. They also saw and experienced the miracle and wonder of a baby being born. They experienced God’s love in their arms and their love growing for each other and for God.
What else did Mary and Joseph see that night? Eager and excited shepherds who came into the manger and wanting to see their baby. They talked about angels and singing and how they were urged to go and see this baby. They were excited and filled with wonder. They stayed and saw the baby for a little while. The shepherds then left and were rejoicing in having seen the baby.
Today our Christmas celebrations remember the baby being born and we experience the sights of Christmas in different ways- the lights on houses, the Christmas tree decorated, poinsettias of different colours placed in homes and sanctuaries adding colour to the dull dark days of early winter. We also see the busyness of roads as people try to purchase the special gifts to give to other people. And we see packages wrapped up in bright colourful paper sometimes wrapped in bows and ribbons. We see children of all ages laughing and playing and people just sitting and resting and remembering. We see people of all backgrounds and experiences marveling at the Gift of God for all God’s people and we rejoice.
But what do you see this Christmas? What you see as we celebrate Christmas makes a difference in how you see the world. Do you see the world potentially ready for peace or a world filled with sadness and depression? Do you see the world filled with divisions and hurtful people or do you see your world with hope in your eyes that next year will be better? Do you see sadness all around you with so many losses of people whom you loved or do you see the love that brings you closer together? Where do you see the joy in Christ’s birth? The shepherds left the stable filled with joy. Are you filled with joy because of Jesus’ birth or are you waiting for another Saviour? Jesus is the One promised by God to save us. There is no other required. He is the One whom we remember—let us see Jesus as he is at Christmas—a baby in a manger; the saviour of the world..
Let us pray:
Holy God of grace and love, we praise you that through Jesus we do receive the gift of hope. Open our hearts to know you and to love you as you love us- unconditionally. Enable us to believe that the baby the shepherds saw is your Son who fulfilled your promise to bring new life and new hope to all who would believe. Hear us we pray in the name of the Christ child, Jesus. Amen.