Can You See What I See?
We romanticize the Christmas story. In Jerusalem, things didn’t look the way I expected. It made me think, what if we could interview those who were there when Christ was born and see what they saw, what if we followed that star of wonder?
While each movie or book tells the story with different revelations, nothing is like being inside people’s heads.
Imagine if we could interview Joseph?
This man God chose to raise His child, was he quiet and contemplative?
Or was he animated and chatty, coming to life every chance he got to share his story:
Of course, it came as a shock to find out little Mary was with child. For a minute, well, never mind, I loved her and being the object of derision in our community was hard.
But my dreams helped. They resonated with something deep inside as they showed me the way to go, gave me peace to continue our plan. Even though the long journey to Egypt was grueling, I wanted to protect my new wife by whisking her away.
Sure enough, if it wasn’t for the dream warning us to go, our baby would not have lived. Talk about grisly confirmation, when we heard about the babies Herod killed because of our son, my wife was a mess.
Persecution came right from the start and didn’t stop. But with the help of those dreams, we knew what to do.
Can you see what I see?
If you need direction, God will guide you, too; all you have to do is ask.
Star of Wonder, Star of Light
Several years ago, at the last minute, someone couldn’t make it to our Christmas pageant so I had the experience of playing Frank, the wise man who brought frankincense to the baby Jesus.
The coordinator asked if I’d be the innkeeper, but I didn’t want to tell Mary and Joseph I had no room for them.
After a quick role adjustment, I stood on the stage next to Gold and Myrrh staring into the camera that projected us onto local TV. It was at that moment I realized I had a beard penciled on my face. God knows how much I hate my facial hair. Notice I’m not sharing a picture?
But let me be Frank with you, there is often a fine line between humility and humiliation.
All joking aside, in those Wiseman sandals, I thought about what I’d wonder if I followed that star.
I laid my Christmas list aside, the one my family asked me to make of all the things I wanted. Instead, I thought about how far these guys came to offer their gifts.
This had never occurred to me before:
As I celebrated Jesus’ birth, what would I give Him?
Now I’ve asked several times, “Lord, what do You want?”
The answer is always the same, but the experience fresh.
“More of you,” He says.
In my mind’s eye, I see a twinkle in His eye. He’s not pushy or demanding like a person might be if they said the same thing. He’s inviting. His smile tells me He has so much more for me.
Here I hold back for whatever reason because I want my way or I think I know best. But always when I dare to continue this conversation, I’m blessed.
“What do you mean, Lord? What does more of me look like?” I want to know the cost.
This year, more of me looks like moving home, packing up and driving cross-country, having lots of overdue visits with friends along the way. I smile as I realize whenever I feel like I’m doing something drastic for God, it’s like this, full of cool things I love doing.
You can’t outgive God.
What about those midwives in Bethlehem?
Can you hear what I hear, a tongue-wiggling Middle Eastern call?
Let me tell you, it may have been a holy night, but it sure wasn’t silent, all of those out-of-towners with their animals.
And that poor innkeeper, he gets a bad rap. People think he was being mean when he said there was no room but you don’t understand, our houses are wall-to-wall on a normal night. Add the people piling into town for the census and there was just no more room.
Besides we’re used to sleeping with our animals so we can protect them and keep warm. We all smell the same anyway.
And let’s not forget those shepherds
That baby was something special. Angels, think about that, a chorus of angels announced His birth. You should have seen them.
I don’t even know how to describe it.
Not only was there bright light but . . . but . . . shekinah glory filled the sky and reached inside, striking a chord in my innermost being as it brought me into the chorus of eternity.
Do you hear what I hear? Do you feel what I feel?
If I could pick, I’d choose to be like Mary
When God asks me to do wild and crazy things, I’d like to emulate her and say, “May it be to me as you have said” instead of the long-drawn-out whiny conversations I usually have with Him.
Maybe her childlike faith is the reason God picked her? They say she could have been as young as 12.
What might Mary say to us later in life after all she went through? Maybe she’d say something like this:
I treasured up so many things in my heart, pondered them, trying not to color them with my own interpretation but taking them for what they were, watching prophecy unfold.
It was just for me to trust and obey even when I did not understand.
Like when Simeon spoke to me in the Temple as we dedicated Yeshua as a baby, it wasn’t until after His death I understood, but truer words were never spoken, ‘a sword will pierce your own soul, too’ (Luke 2:35, NIV).
Dreams, persecution, so many hard things, I bore Him, but He was not mine. He was sent to the world.He was sent for you.
Can you see what I see?
As we remember Jesus at Christmas, we often sing, “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” but do you know what?
He adores you.
Whenever I’m asked to speak, I always ask, “Lord, what do You want me to say?”
Over and over, another example where the exact same thing comes to mind but with a fresh anointing, I hear it as if for the first time. He says, “Make sure you tell them . . .”
“What, Lord?” I say totally forgetting I already know this, “Make sure I tell them what?”
Christ, the Star of Wonder and Star of Light, who shines down through the ages and into our lives when we let Him, adores us.
“That I love them,” He says, “make sure they know I love them.”
Related Post: This is what happened when He said, “Go now in peace”