Christmas Awareness

What have you heard and Seen of Christmas?

Oh, you say, had I been there at Bethlehem that night I would have seen. I would have understood. I would have known it was the Christ child. Would you? There is one way of knowing:

Ask yourself what you have seen and heard this Christmas Season.  Here’s how we see it from The Salvation Army…

Some watch the 6:00 news and see chaos and strife, …we see sheep without a shepherd.

When they go out to do their shopping, some see only hordes of people in the stores, …might they have noticed the worried expressions on some of their faces–worried because they are facing this Christmas without employment or enough money and they don’t know how they are going to make ends meet?

What do we hear at Christmas?

Did we hear only the blast of music and carols? …In the Army we hear the silent sighs of the lonely and the bereaved who may be dreading Christmas because it accentuates their loneliness.

And in the midst of the sounds of honking horns and people arguing over parking places, …listen for the sounds of laughter coming from SA Christmas parties for all types of people, because so many unknown people furnished food and toys for families, children and the desperate.

You see, so often what you see and what we hear is not dependent upon the event but upon ourselves. If you did in fact hear the cry from the lonely, the laughter of poor children, if you saw the sheep without a shepherd, then, and only then, might you have noticed the events that took place in Bethlehem that night. If you’re missing these spiritual sights and sounds then you probably would have been with the 99% who were present but who saw or heard nothing out of the ordinary that night near the stable.

In the end perhaps one of our carols words it best: No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin. Where meek souls shall receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.

(adapted from Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999)

“God, your God, is going to raise up a prophet for you. God will raise him up from among your kinsmen, a prophet like me. Listen obediently to him. This is what you asked God, your God, for at Horeb on the day you were all gathered at the mountain and said, “We can’t hear any more from God, our God; we can’t stand seeing any more fire. We’ll die!” Deuteronomy 18:15 MSG

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