“They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear…” Ezekiel 12:2
I never tell my kids where we are going. Instead, I call every outing an “adventure.” I just tell them what to wear, what to bring, and when to get in the car. So when we went to Crossing Life Church’s narrated hay ride this past Saturday night, my kids had no idea what to expect.
For forty-five minutes we waited in line in the cold. But it was a beautiful night, a splendor of stars in the sky. They had hot cocoa to sip, and we took turns getting out of line to warm up at the bonfire. Finally, after our long wait, we climbed into the wagon with excitement.
It was so fun! They had choreographed the pre-recorded narration and music so that as the wagon approached each different lit up scene in the woods, the music matched the display: “You’re A Mean One” played for The Grinch, “Let It Go” played for Anna, Elsa and Olaf, etc.
The climax was a live nativity at the peak of a hill. They stopped the hay ride here so people could either gaze at the scene in awe from the wagon, get off and look up close, or warm up at another bonfire blazing on the other side of the hill. My husband and Mason were on the bonfire side of the wagon. Mason was mesmerized by the fire’s glow and the kids toasting marshmallows.
When I tore my eyes away from the Baby Jesus, I asked Mason what he thought of the live nativity. Come to find out, he had no idea it existed! Everyone on my side had blocked his view. I found myself saying, “Oh Mason. Come look. This is the whole point in coming.”
I could hear “this is the whole point” echoing in my head. I think God has been whispering that to me for weeks, as I put my focus on our outing to get our Christmas tree, decorating my house, planning fun activities, making lists of gifts to buy, and on and on. All of those things piled up, one on top of the other, creating a wall that blocked my view of “the whole point” of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.
Can you imagine standing outside, on a cold December night in New England, for almost an hour, and then missing the grand finale of what you came for? If I’m not careful, if I spend my entire Advent distracted by the glow of decorations and gifts, I am going to miss the grand finale too, one that’s far more spectacular than any hay ride or fire works display. Yes, Jesus is here with us every day of the year. But I have to stop and recognize the time of year we anticipate His birth into this world as a helpless and humble baby, just so He could save us all from this messy and troubled world.
My hope is that you’re all having a deep and meaningful Advent. But if not, if you haven’t found Him yet, what is blocking your view?
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