Greetings the heart of Downtown Memphis where reminders of Christmas are all around us! In fact, Downtown is becoming so beautifully ornate with festive lighting, garland, and wreaths it can be difficult for First Church to stand out and be noticed. Fortunately we have such wonderful and talented volunteers that our Christmas decor is one of the first things people see as they exit I-40 and enter Downtown.
All too often our lives during such a busy season are also so filled with the things of Christmas, the most vital aspects of Christmas often fade into the background going unnoticed.
Behold! The simple yet strong word, "Behold", is used throughout the narratives in the Gospels to make sure the reader is paying attention. "Behold" is often used by angels who have come from Heaven to get someone's attention with a vital message that more than likely will turn the life of the hearer upside down. Behold is often used to wake us up and say, "Don't miss this message!"
The Advent and Christmas seasons are filled with messages from God himself for us to behold. In fact, Christmas itself is one huge "Behold!" for us to make sure we stop and pay close attention to. Christmas reminds us:
- Things in this world are not as they were created to be. When sin entered the world darkness, disobedience, and death overshadowed all of creation.
- God promised from the very beginning to provide a path towards redemption and an escape from the bonds of sin and death.
- In Jesus, God was faithful to his promise in providing for all of creation all things necessary for us to be rescued from the darkness into the light of the new creation.
- In his earthly life, Jesus showed us the very character of the Father through his humility, strength, and sacrificial love.
Make sure during this season of Advent and Christmas you plan now to make yourself available to hear His voice when our Father says "Behold!" and desires to speak a message of hope and grace into your life. Make sure you take full advantage of the opportunities each week to worship together and celebrate the coming of Jesus. Make sure you allow time in your busy schedule to serve someone else in a way you normally wouldn't. Make sure you take this opportunity to pick up your bible everyday to help you hear God say "Behold!" and get your attention in the midst of your day.
I pray that as we all gather together in worship this Christmas Eve we will gather in celebration of an Advent where God broke into our lives and transformed each of us because we listened to God's words for us after "Behold!"
Grace and Peace,