Our oldest daughter is 2 now and trying to explain Christmas to her has forced me to think about Christmas and how to communicate it a bit differently.
Selah: Mommy, where’s Jesus?
Me: In heaven
Me a half hour later: Selah, it’s Christmas and we are having big, big parties because Jesus was born!
Selah: Happy, happy! Yeahh!
Selah a minute later: Mommy, where’s Jesus? Jesus born?
Ha! So we’re working on it… In the midst of me having converstation about Christmas with a toddler and holding a baby, I’m thinking about what is my response is to Jesus’ birth.
In the Christmas account, we get a glimpse into how different people respond to Jesus’ birth. There’s a group of shepherds on night-watch. Their mundane night takes a turn when an angel appears and announces the important news: “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people for today there has been born for you a Savior”. It’s hard to imagine what a night’s sky would look like filled with “a multitude of the heavenly host praising God”! But its got to be absolutely stunning. After hearing about this good news, the shepherds hurried to find this Savior-baby. The shepherds and the friends they shared this good news with were filled with wonder. Their response was to glorify and praise God for all they had seen and heard.
The wiseman – astrologers and scientists from an Eastern country set out on a long journey in search of this King baby and brought gifts and fell down and worshipped Jesus.
In the temple, there was Simeon, an old man full of the Holy Spirit, full of hope and faith. He’d been waiting to see the Messiah ever since the Holy Spirit revealed that He’d meet Jesus in His lifetime. As Jesus was brought to him for customary practices He just knew this baby was the one who would be the King and Savior he His people had been waiting for. He couldn’t help but bless God and declare the identity of this baby.
An elderly prophetess, a serious woman of God, Anna also recognized this baby as “the Redeemer” and gave thanks to God could not stop talking about who He is.
Each person in the Christmas account discovers and responds to Jesus’ birth based on who he or she is, how they spend their time, what they know, and where they are in their journey. The shepherds were doing the same thing they usually do, probably in a similar place when the angels told them about Jesus. The wisemen spent their time and energy studying the stars and patterns in the sky and this is how and where God reveales Jesus’ birth to them. Simeon went to the temple day in, day out, and Anna was literally always there and there they met Jesus. In the midst of our normal circumstances, God comes to reveal himself to us. The thing is though that in the middle of their daily lives, everybody mentioned here is in a place to listen, observe, and recognize Jesus. Then across the board, their response is full of wonder, worship, and they just can’t help but share this good news.
It’s not the fist time I’ve heard about Jesus birth, and I’m sure it’s not yours but as I talk with my 2 year old and read about the humble shepherds, the wisemen from afar, and the hopeful in the temple I’m filled with hope that we too can have a fresh perspective and renewed wonder with Jesus and his coming this Christmas. I’m hopeful even with all we have going on right now we can still be quiet enough to listen, observe, recognize Jesus for who He is. Because when we are touched and in awe of something greater than ourselves, some kind of response is inevitable. This Christmas I don’t want to just know about the miracle of Jesus’ birth, I want to respond; give my worship, from this place in my journey, from who I am today.
I just got back from visiting my family on the west coast of Canada! Soo good. My sister and brother in law were performing a cd-release called “Carols Live” at their church while I was back. I can still feel the excitement and worship exuding from these musicians, from the hearts all around me as I watch this short clip of it. Check out the video I took and excuse my super poor videography skills and side note – yes the clip ends on my baby sleeping in my arms through it all – ha. ( click on the link below to view the clip of the song)
I’m gonna love you and leave you with these lyrics:
What I have I give to Him
A voice to sing, a Song to raise
Who will take this offering
And make it something of His praise