The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:5
Father, mother, and daughter ventured forth to their community’s mega mall. Armed with credit card and checkbook, they were prepared to run the gauntlet of harried clerks and engage in hand-to-hand combat with harassed customers in the annual life-and-death struggle known as “Christmas shopping.” Sleet began to fall as they drove around the parking lot. They found a spot, about six miles away from the great glass doors of the shopping center. I can’t verify that distance, all I can do is share the story as it’s been told to me.
The parents made a point of memorizing where they parked. Unlike last year, this year they would not wander, aimlessly, looking for their vehicle. The little girl knew none of these things. She was simply satisfied to be surrounded by the sights and sounds and settings of the season. All went as expected. Hours later, they returned home. The parents were frazzled and fatigued by the traffic, the lists, and the long lines, while their daughter was humming Christmas carols. Mom and dad argued and aggravated each other while their girl floated on a fog of fabulous feelings through the entire evening. Nothing is more exasperating than to be in the presence of a genuinely happy individual. It was no different for those parents. Around 10 o’clock, Dad told his daughter to stop singing and go to bed.
Eventually, Mom and Dad went up their daughter’s room for prayers. They found her window wide open—not a wise move for a Wisconsin family in December. Dad asked, “Why is your window open?” The little girl replied, “I thought I heard the angels singing.” Tired, temperamental, and testy, Dad shot back, “I don’t hear any angels singing and you don’t either.” As he moved to shut the window, his little girl said, “Daddy, if you want to hear the angels sing, you have to listen with your heart."
She is right. And, if you want to see the Savior, you must do so with eyes of faith. This booklet has tried, by story and suggestion, through facts and fancy, to show the Savior. But if you are to really see Him, it will only be because the Holy Spirit has brought you into the light and given you eyes of faith. Do you see Him? I can only pray that you, like the Christmas shepherds may hear the angels, and then having heard, go and see in Bethlehem’s stable, God’s Good News of great joy: the Savior, Christ the Lord.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on December 19, 2004
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, open my heart and mind to Your will. No matter what time of year it is, may I not only see, but also act upon the opportunities You place before me. In Your Name. Amen.
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