Advent 2016 Devotional: December 16

Something to Behold

screen-shot-2016-12-10-at-2-15-20-pmFear not, for Behold, I bring you good tidings of great Joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:10

Our daughters, Margaret and Katie, obviously down to their last moments of available Christmas shopping, grabbed a novelty gift off the shelf of a Hallmark store many years ago, but Nancy and I continue to enjoy it, laughing every year as we set it up on the big table in our living room.

Mickey Mouse leads the band on his saxophone, Minnie is on the piano, while Donald Duck strums the guitar and Goofy plays a big bass fiddle. Together they play jazzy renditions of Christmas songs and carols, all the while bobbing and moving like a quartet you might see in New Orleans.

Last year, Margaret, Brad, and baby William stopped by to check on our Christmas decorating progress and William, just a little over a year old, was drawn to the little band like a magnet, running to it as fast as his wobbly little legs would carry him.

William watched with full attention as I tapped Donald’s button and a rousing version of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” began. Soon, the other characters magically joined in, and that little boy began to dance and laugh uncontrollably, unable to contain the natural joy of his heart.

As I watched my young grandson, full of wonder myself, my mind flashed to a Sunday School lesson I heard my father teach at least 20 years earlier in Atlanta. He observed how we rarely used the word “Behold” anymore.

He lamented how unfortunate this was because beholding is so much more than just seeing. He said beholding was being able to see a seed and what it is destined to become— a tree—all at the same time.

As I watched William’s utter joy and recalled my father’s words, I heard the angels say: “Behold, I bring you tidings of great Joy!”

In that short celestial declaration, we are told that with this little seed, a baby born in Bethlehem, God was securing for us a destiny of unimaginable joy.

Behold. How can our hearts be restrained?

Gracious God, thank you for allowing us glimpses of your kingdom through unexpected moments in precious children, funny gifts at Christmas, and teachers who devote lifetimes to studying your word. Help us to free ourselves from our own minds and simply, Behold. Amen.

John McCoy and his wife Nancy have been members of South Main since 1987. They are enjoying “growing up” with their grandsons, William (3) and Jack (8 months).

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