My family and I attended a community Christmas program recently. My husband dropped the younger children and me off at the door while he searched for a parking space. I was on a mission to locate some good seats in the balcony area.
As we entered the church, I noticed many others rushing by presumably on the same mission. We exchanged quick smiles and made our way through the crowd.
Suddenly, my four year old son stopped in his tracks, drawing my attention to the near-life size nativity scene that so many were passing by with little notice.
His delight was evident as he exclaimed, “Baby Jesus is tiny”! Before I could respond, he knelt down before the manger and sat perfectly still, taking it all in. I thought about snapping a picture, but I could not remove my eyes from his small body posed reverently near the Baby Jesus. Wow! To see through the eyes of a child.
I was mesmerized by the beauty of it all, and I was ashamed that I had almost missed it. And although we halted there for a long minute, I regret that we did not stretch out our stay. I would love to go back to that moment and linger a bit longer.
Because nativity scenes are so common this time of year, I had almost failed to truly see it. I was content to simply steal a glimpse as I rushed past, even though my desire to connect with Jesus that night was authentic.
This is why we were in that place, at that time. To hear beautiful songs such as Silent Night and Away in a Manger. To experience oneness with others who believe as we believe, that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. To come away more in tune with the true meaning of this season, to feel a closer bond with those around us, and to become more aware of the significance of what Jesus did for us.
As wonderful as the program was that night, I would have missed the beauty of the manger had it not been for God using a precious little boy to slow me down enough to behold its value. How I thank God for sharing this treasure with me, and for using my own sweet boy to do so.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will settle into your comfy place, relax with those you love, and bask in the magnificence of it all as if you were a wide-eyed child grasping the loveliness of Christmas for the very first time.