Spiritual Adventure Time!

Star of Wonder, Star of Light

Do You See What I See?

In Jerusalem, things didn’t look the way I expected they would. 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?

While each movie or book tells the Christmas story with different insight, nothing is like being inside a person’s head.

Imagine if we could interview Joseph?

This man that God chose to raise His child, was he quiet and contemplative? 

A nativity figurine looks deep in thought. I'd give a penny for his thoughts.
Image by Spencer Wing from Pixabay.

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 Mary was with child. I loved her but being the object of derision in our community, well, that was hard.

My dreams helped. They resonated with something deep inside as they showed me the way to go, gave me peace to continue. 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 have died. Talk about grisly confirmation, when we heard about all of those Herod killed because of our son, Mary was a mess.  

Persecution came right from the start and it didn’t stop. But with the help of those dreams, we knew what to do. 

Do you see what I see? 

If you need direction, ask God to guide you. He’ll show you what to do!

A shining star like none I've ever seen!
Image from Pexels.

Star of Wonder, Star of Light

At the last minute, someone couldn’t make it to our Christmas pageant one ear so I had the experience of playing Frank, you know, the wise guy who brought frankincense to the baby Jesus.

The coordinator had asked if I’d be the innkeeper, but I didn’t want to tell Mary and Joseph I had no room for them.

So, after a quick role adjustment, I stood on the stage next to Gold and Myrrh staring into the camera that projected onto local TV. It was at that moment I realized I had a beard penciled in on my face.

God knows how much I hate my facial hair. Notice I’m not sharing a picture? 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 for a minute, the one my family asked me to make of all the things I wanted. Instead, I thought about how far the Wisemen traveled to offer their gifts.

It had never occurred to me:

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.

As I imagine Jesus looking at me, 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.

For whatever reason, I often hold back because I want my way or I think I know best. But always when I dare to continue this conversation, I’m blessed. There really is no other word for it.

“What do you mean, Lord?” I’ve asked, “What does more of me look like?” I confess, I often want to know the cost before I sign up.

This year, more of me looked like moving home, packing up, and driving across the country, without having visits with as many friends along the way like I expected. You know, because of COVID.

It makes me smile, though, because it feels like I did something drastic for God and that feels good.

What about those midwives in Bethlehem?

Do you hear what I hear, a tongue-wiggling Middle Eastern call?

Let me tell you, it might 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 really was no room!

Besides we’re used to sleeping with our animals so we can protect them and keep warm. We all smell the same anyway. 

Let’s not forget the shepherds

A shepherd holding a sheep looks off in the distance. I wish I could see what he sees or what he's thinking.

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 . . . this amazing sparkle filled the sky and reached inside me, striking a chord in my inmost being as it brought me into this chorus of eternity.

And you know I don’t normally talk like that! I’m just trying to put to words something that, well, there just aren’t words for it.

In your mind’s eye, can you see what I see? 

This picture of a sheep looks as if he may be asking, "can you see what I see?" What did he think of that star of wonder?
Photo by Trinity Kubassek from Pexels.

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 I could emulate her and say, “May it be to me as you have said” instead of the long-drawn-out whiny conversations we sometimes have.

Maybe her childlike faith is the reason God picked her? They say she could have been as young as 12. 

A mother Mary figurine peers into the face of baby Jesus. Can we please see what she sees!
Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash.

I wonder what might Mary say to us later in life after all she went through? Something like this:

I treasured up so many things in my heart, pondered them, trying not to color them with my own interpretation but take them for what they were and watch the prophecy unfold. 

It was 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. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Do you see what I see?

As we remember Jesus at Christmas, we often sing, “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” but guess what?

He adores you!

Whenever I’m asked to speak, I always ask, “God, what do You want me to say?”

Over and over, this is another example where the exact same thing comes to mind but I hear it as if for the first time. He says, “Make sure . . .” 

“Make sure of what?” I say totally forgetting, “Make sure I tell them what?”

Make sure you tell them that I love them!”

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.

Take a minute, lean back, and have a listen:

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  1. Very interesting perspective!! I loved the modern-day interviews of the innkeeper, Mary, Joseph, etc. Never thought about the events surrounding Jesus’s birth by putting myself in the place and time. Really cool to consider.

    1. Oh, Ang, God so-o-o loves you!

      Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (NASB).

      When I think of those words from the Bible, I picture God sitting at a drafting table looking artsy with long, silver hair pulled back in a ponytail. With glasses on and an earring, He’s drawing a picture of, well, me, but you, too! All of us, right?

      I know the words are probably meant to describe how God draws us to Himself, but since He did create us and He’s the embodiment of love, I think of Him drawing us with His finger.

      And I’m reminded of the infamous words of Jessica Rabbit from the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It makes me want to imitate her by saying, “I can’t help it, I was drawn this way.”

  2. Very nice read this morning. Thank you.

    What a delight it will be to meet Mary and Joseph when we enter into our glorious eternal home. They are a wonderful pair of faithful people to emulate. Humble, peaceful, loving.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Right? I hope there is a time machine where we can go back in time with them and really experience these things. Since it’s heaven, I’m guessing it won’t just be 3D or 4D, but all-D!

      Merry Christmas, Carol!

  3. Yes, I hope to receive God’s revelations for me like Mary, too. Several years ago, as I walked through a divorce and my ex’s getting remarried 11 months after our divorce was final, thinking of Mary helped me. I was driving to pick up my girls from their Dad’s beautiful, enormous new home, and I was listening to a song about Mary. She had expectations and plans, and boy did that angel announcing that she was with child change her future. I took a wrong turn and my GPS said, “Recalculating.” And then it hit me. I had had 20+ years of marriage and two beautiful daughters. Mary was probably 13, could have been killed for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, and had to tell her betrothed and her parents she was pregnant “from God, really.” Talk about recalculating! I thought, “If Mary could do what she did and accept God’s new twist on her life, then so can I.”

    1. You never told me that story before. That’s beautiful, Catherine!

      Weirdly enough, in church last night, the pastor used this same “recalculating” example! Thank God for recalculations. 🙂

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