When You Want to Behold His Glory
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 (NIV)
When our fourth child arrived at Christmastime nearly a decade ago, no one was more excited to welcome a 7-pound miracle into our family than our firstborn, Lukas.
Though he loved his little sisters, 8-year-old Lukas had long yearned for a brother. He’d wished for one each year when he extinguished his birthday candles with a breathy blast, and he’d plead every night when he closed the day in prayer.
"Dear Jesus, can I PLEASE have a brother?"
He spent years waiting and wishing, pleading and petitioning, and finally, a week before those stockings on the mantle brimmed full, God answered his prayer with a brown-haired bundle of joy.
As we settled into our new routine as a family of six, I wondered how I would manage to appease all the eager hands vying to hold the baby. Surely the proud big brother would try to trump his sisters’ rocking-chair time.
But I soon learned that the pace of my 8-year-old’s life didn’t lend itself to sitting and cuddling, swaying and snuggling. There were snow forts to build and Legos to assemble, spelling words to master and math facts to learn.
Lukas left his little sisters to fight over "holding rights." When the sun was shining he remained content to merely smile at his baby brother as he sped by in pursuit of his next activity.
But when the noise of the day grew hushed and the girls were tucked snug in their beds, when the toys were returned to the closet and the snow boots were lined on the rug, my firstborn would sidle up to the rocking chair where I sat with his wish-come-true.
Then, before he climbed into his top bunk and pulled the covers to his chin, he’d ask, "Can I be holding the baby now?"
With a nod, I’d place our tiny bundle into his arms and watch as my eldest fixed his baby blues on his sleepy-eyed brother. Holding him. And beholding him.
One night as Lukas rocked the baby in wordless wonder, I asked him why he always waited until the day’s end to hold his brother.
"Mommy," my son said with a sigh, "it’s just easier to be holding the baby when my feet are slowed down."
Our "baby boy" won’t be snoozing through the holiday hoopla in his brother’s arms this year. (Chances are, he’ll be challenging him to a backyard race or trying to wrestle him to the ground in the light of our twinkling tree). But even though I won’t be making room for a cradle beneath those evergreen boughs, I will still search for ways to make room for a manger in the middle of our Christmas mayhem.
Because at the heart of this sacred season is a Baby who is the answer to all of our prayers.
Our key verse tells us, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us and we have seen His glory." God wrapped Heaven’s Hope in wrinkled skin and splintered wails and invited us to draw near to His gift of grace.
More than parties and pageants, gleaming lights and tinseled trees, Christmas is an invitation to savor the gift of our stable-born Savior and let the wonder of His love meet the deepest longings of our hearts.
But be warned: Not everyone spies His splendor.
If we want to see His glory, we need to slow our stride and still our souls. ’Cause according to the wisdom of an awe-struck 8-year-old, it’s just easier to "be-holding" the Baby when our feet are slowed down.
Dear Jesus, Please slow my feet so I can see Your glory this Christmastime and always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Matthew 1:23, "‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’ — which, when translated, means, ‘God with us.’" (AMP)
Luke 2:11-12 "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (NIV)
If you want to enter into the wonder of the Christmas story, take time to savor Liz Curtis Higgs’ The Women of Christmas.
Stop by Alicia Bruxvoort’s blog today for more encouragement and for a free printable that will help you make room for the manger.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Take time to read the Christmas story in Luke 2. Ask Jesus to show you something new in His story to ignite fresh awe as you consider His birth.
Cultivate a childlike heart of wonder this week. Do something you enjoyed doing at Christmastime as a child.
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