During Advent this year, I will be reflecting daily using this Advent Photo Devotional. The word designated for December 8th was #See. Admittedly, I am a few days behind, but I am trying to catch up on the series.
A key part of the Christmas story is seeing. For example consider the angels and the shepherds.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people…'” -Luke 2:10, NRSV
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” – Luke 2:15-20, NRSV.
To see is to witness. To see is to be drawn to something and feel the need to go and see, such as the exciting news of the birth of the Messiah. To see can also be something unexpected, like the very presence of seeing angels appear and speaking to you. To see that, though majestic I am sure, would be equally terrifying, and that’s the very reason that when an angel appears in scripture, they often say, “Do not be afraid,” or “Do not fear.”
Seeing of course is not necessarily believing. Jesus would later say in his ministry, “blessed are those who have not seen yet believe.” But, when presented with the possibility of something so special and important as such a birth as this, how could you not go and see if you were the shepherds?
As you journey these final two weeks of Advent this year, make note of what you see. When you worship and join the feast of communion, taste and see the goodness of the Lord. When you sit down for a meal with friends or loved ones, see who you are sharing a conversation with and open your eyes and see them anew. When you drive on your way to work or school, look around at the people that you pass by.
What do you see? What signs or glimpses of God do you see at work around you?