“I don’t want to die. I just want to see Christmas.” I put down the newspaper and cried. A first grader had spoken the words as she huddled in a bathroom with her classmates and teacher in fear of the gunman stalking the Sandy Hook elementary school. She was spared and would live to see Christmas while twenty other students and eight adults in the school would not.
Oh, dear Jesus, how your comfort is needed. As I searched for words to pray, the lyrics of a song I recently heard came to mind. The song – "Where’s the line to see Jesus?" - was inspired by a child wondering why there was a line to see Santa, but not Jesus. I was struck by how those words cut to the core of the essence of what Christmas should be. The lyrics joined in tandem with the words of the schoolchild. Oh, how we all need to see Christmas - and the Christ of Christmas – Jesus. I wept again.
How had we come this far? I thought back to that first Christmas when shepherds had one quest in mind – to find the manger where the Christ child lay so they could worship him. I, on the other hand, along with thousands who profess to know and worship Christ, had just spent a whole day shopping for gifts to give to people on a day that was Jesus’ birthday, not theirs. The only line I looked for was the shortest at the checkout.
But, these two little children – unencumbered by the culture, blessed with transparent honesty – were unafraid to speak their hearts. I was ashamed. I had become caught up in the web of political correctness, of “holiday hysteria”. I had succumbed to making Christmas about cultural trimmings. I decorated a tree with little thought of One who died on a barren tree for me. I carefully wrapped presents in bright colors for my children while the mother of my Savior had humbly swaddled the Son in common cloths. I graced our mantel with figures of the nativity, yet I shrank from speaking to unsaved friends about the centerpiece of it – the Gift that would give them eternal life.
Was there ever a time such as this when we – when I – need to see, really see Jesus? Children seek Him – looking for Him amidst terror-filled moments or among frenzied shoppers and Santa-seekers. And He is eager to reveal Himself to all who seek Him. I picture those Sandy Hook children seeing Him face-to-face in heaven, while their grieving families here seek His comfort. I see the boy who asked where the Jesus’ line was, seeing Him and discovering Emmanuel – God with us – ever present in the hearts of all who believe.
How wonderful to see CHRISTmas, to see Jesus, to worship Him, to share the reason for His coming, to be moment-by-moment aware of His presence. LORD, please let my eyes and heart be those of a child - to always see You.
*To hear the song "Where's the Line to see Jesus"-copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=OExXItDyWEY&vq=medium
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