It’s a week to go until Christmas Day. In the build up to Christmas, our attention seems to be here, there and everywhere. Everyone may celebrate differently, and for some, they may not celebrate at all. Regardless of what Christmas Day means to you, I can guarantee you’ll be drawn in. The question is: what to? What will have your gaze and attention?
The advertisers will want you to be looking at everything they are trying to sell you, convincing you that it’s something you need. They will be pulling those emotional heartstrings of nostalgia and the longing for better days. That’s even more appealing now after everything that’s been happening in the world over these last few years.
The Christmas food will have the attention of many as the festive treats pile up. Others will be looking at their waistline, trying not to indulge themselves. Maybe food is a trigger for anxiety. Looking in the mirror is hard.
Then there are those who are looking for love and place themselves in the character of their favourite seasonal rom-com. Maybe the hope of a fresh start as the New Year beckons causes our gaze to look longingly for midnight as January 1st begins.
Maybe we are looking at all that we have lost this year. Loved ones. A job. Health. Peace. Money. Friends. Maybe we are thrilled about all that we have gained and our focus is on ourselves, our success, and countless reasons to smile and give thanks.
Many will be looking at their finances as the temptation to spend more eats away at their bank account.
Others will be looking at the news with a sense of despair and disbelief at all the anxiety-inducing headlines. All of the uncertainty is enough to cause panic, and people begin to look inwards towards themselves as they seek refuge from the storms of life. Maybe some will seek comfort in company and look to others to meet their deep, emotional need.
What about you? What are you looking at this Christmas?
We may be looking to a number of different things that scramble for our attention.
But let us behold Jesus.
And let us not simply look, but gaze. Set our eyes upon Him. Survey. Regard. Contemplate.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Christ beholds us.
He sees us. He knows us. He came into our world – God with us – Immanuel. He knows what it’s like to walk this earth in all its brokenness. It’s a world marred by sin, yet the sinless, holy One came into our world as a baby, and took our sin upon Himself at the cross. He did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save (John 3:17). He was the lamb, the sacrifice; by His blood we are healed, made new, restored in our relationship to God.
The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!John 1:29 ESV
Jesus knew the cross was before Him all the days of His life, and He went willingly, bearing the punishment that our sin deserved. He paid the penalty, and we go free. He has made a way for us to be in relationship with God forever. He is the greatest gift given to us.
This Christmas, are we beholding Jesus? When we look to Jesus, believing and trusting in Him, we are saved from a life of striving after other things, and beholding things and people that will not ultimately satisfy that longing.
With one look at Jesus – how can we look away? Such love He has for us. Come, let us adore Him. Behold our King!