Can You See Him?
Writer Author Karla Hogan
- Fiction No
Christmas memories are some of my most vivid recollections; I keep them easily accessible in the treasury of my mind. Christmas was a great time of family togetherness in our home, and I loved it.
I remember waking early and going with my older sister to our younger brother’s room to wait until we could go in and coax Mom and Dad out of bed! “It’s Christmas!” we would shout with such excitement, as if maybe the date on the calendar had escaped them! We would then rush to our stockings and gleefully take out the contents, one at a time, until we reached the apple anchoring the toe.
We always knew that Mom’s blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs were on the menu for breakfast, and, even now, remembering it brings the sweet smell of Christmas morning to life! We would then open packages, one at a time so that all could see. It was a process that could easily last a couple of hours, but what fun we had!
I remember once my brother had taped my gift to the inside top of the box, but I didn’t see it when I opened the package. Imagine my awkwardness while trying to sound excited and grateful for a box filled with his practice “leather rounds” for 4-H. He let me squirm for a few minutes and then everyone burst into laughter, telling me to look on the inside of the lid! Alas, there was the piece of sheet music I had asked for!
The rest of Christmas day was ours to play games, read or simply enjoy. Many times we would travel to our grandparents’ house for the afternoon, but Christmas morning was always spent at home. As the evening would roll around, I felt a sense of quietness and peace. God’s blessings were so evident to me, even as a child.
I now have a wonderful husband and two small daughters of my own and, needless to say, Christmas is still a magical time of year. Hearing endless giggles, watching eyes light up with each tree light, decorating ourselves and sugar cookies with many colors of frosting -- the list is endless. We want to instill in our children traditions that are fun as well as meaningful, and we are certainly on our way to achieving that goal.
A few years ago, as the girls grew out of infancy, I began to ponder more deeply what our Christmas traditions might be. It was then I realized that my own favorite childhood tradition actually took place on Christmas Eve. Each year, after attending the candlelight service at church, we headed home to read the Christmas story by candlelight. It was wonderful!! As I grew up, the sound of Luke, chapter 2 was music to my ears. What an awesome picture this memory brought to mind!
In this reflective time, while I pondered traditions, God imprinted on my heart, even more deeply than I already knew, that the true experience of Christmas is seeing Christ. But can we see Him in the midst of the hustle and bustle? It’s so easy to get distracted with all we have going on! It is just as easy, however, to remind ourselves of Who He is, bringing Christmas back into focus as God intended.
My challenge each year, to myself or anyone who needs his focus adjusted, is simply to be in awe. Not of your surroundings, or accomplishments, or even of the Christmas season, but of the Christ! In this day and age, it seems we’ve lost the concept of being in awe and letting ourselves just drink in who God is and what He has done.
I have found that Christmas means so much more when I spend my days with Jesus and remind myself of His greatness. In this respect, I am building an
awe-struck lifestyle that lasts year-round, not just during those four holiday weeks in December.
Can you see Him? A baby, not in a hotel or beautiful surroundings. but in a manger—full of hay and dirt. Can you see Him? Touching people no one else was willing to even talk to, let alone touch. Can you see Him? Holding children in His lap, bidding other children to come to Him. Can you see Him? Healing those He met along His journey. Can you see Him? In the Garden, praying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me,” yet in the next breath imploring, “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Can you see Him? Dying on the cross, and then lying alone in the dark, dank tomb.
And now, can you see Him? Victorious, rising from the dead as He had promised! This is the Christ of Christmas!! The same yesterday, today and forever!!! When we remind ourselves of who He is and stand in awe, our focus at Christmas is not on what’s around us, but on Jesus!
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
Can you see Him? Merry Christmas!!!
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