And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for BEHOLD, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:10
I’ll never forget a Christmas morning several years ago, as our three toddler and preschool age girls sat on the couch, blurry-eyed and barely awake. Then we handed them their stockings. Suddenly wide-eyed and excited, the oldest two quickly dumped the contents and began to “ooo and awe” over the candy and little items they found. The youngest, however, didn’t dump. She slowly reached in, grasped whatever her tiny hand found, and pulled it out. She gasped with excitement and handled it lovingly.
Basking. Reveling. Beholding. Whatever you want to call it; it’s what she was doing. One item at a time. When she was only half-way through…her siblings had long since finished glancing over all of their stocking contents. They sat back and watched little sister pull out her items, one at a time. It wasn’t long before they grew impatient…they were ready to move on to bigger things – opening their presents.
“Come on – hurry up!” they encouraged.
Finally, as she pulled out and examined the last item, the older ones thought, “Great – that’s finally over!”
They were mistaken.
She picked up each item again with fascination, to return it to her stocking…one at a time. She wanted the joy of pulling them out of her stocking again…one at a time. Now that was going too far – the two sisters couldn’t handle it. Their frustration and anger grew. “Stop it – that’s enough,” they complained. “We wanna open our presents!!!”
An obvious lesson learned that Christmas morning? The joy of Christmas can’t be rushed. Watching, beholding…standing in awe. Isn’t that what happened long ago, as lowly shepherds as well as affluent wise men gazed in awe and amazement at this tiny child, come to save His people?
What if they had been in a hurry? What if the wise men insisted on leaving immediately? After all, they had a long journey back home. What if the shepherds merely wanted to get that visit over with so they could get back to their flocks – sheep needed cared for, didn’t they? We all have excuses – good ones – for rushing through Christmas. However, if the wise men and shepherds had rushed they may never have “…went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen…” Luke 2:20
Jesus Christ was our simplest, yet most profound Christmas gift of all time. No matter how busy you might be this Christmas, try to make time, especially for the sake of your children, to “behold” and glory in His simple, life-changing gift.