- Lorie Hedgepeth
"...Now when they had seen him..."
"Now when they had seen him, they made widely known the saying
which was told them concerning this child."
Notice the first six words of our text: “Now when they had seen him…”
The previous statement gives rise to a question: Have you seen Him? Certainly not with the natural eye.... but, nevertheless… have you seen Him? Perhaps a better question is HOW do you see Him? "How" we see Him determines how we respond to Him.
Once again, as we enter the Christmas Season, the truth of God sending His Son Jesus to be the Savior of the world is all around us. Not everyone that sends cards, sings carols and gives gifts sees Jesus as their Savior. Many believe in Jesus in the same way they believe in Abraham Lincoln or any other historical figure. Some see Him as a religious reformer of His day, while others view Him as a great prophet and teacher.
All across this world there are those who see Jesus as one way, among many ways to heaven. Multiplied thousands see Jesus and look to Him as a helper and as one to call on in emergency situations…yet, fail to see Him as Savior. The reason this is so crucial is that it's not our trust in Him as a helper, blesser or source of success that brings salvation--it is our faith and trust in Him as Savior - our trust in His shed blood as the payment of our sin. SO---the question remains...How do you see Him? I cannot answer for you, but I can tell you how I see Him. I see Him as Savior, Redeemer and the ransom paid for my sins. I see Him as my Rock and my Refuge and the One in whom I rest. I see Him as my Hope - my only Hope, in this life and the life to come. How do you see Jesus? I see Him as the one that loves me when I am right and loves me when I am wrong. I see Him as a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I see Him as my very present help in time of trouble. He has grace for my grief, mercy for my mistakes, counsel in my confusion, forgiveness for my failures, provisions in my poverty and peace in the midst of my panic… So, I just have to ask the question…Have you seen Him, and do you know Him?
As God’s Church, we MUST make it our business to help others and influence others to see Him and know Him. People can see Him as we preach God’s Word. People can see Jesus when we sing about Him and worship Him with radical worship. People can see Him when we love the unlovable and show kindness in an unkind and angry world.
After the shepherds had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this child. It is incumbent upon the Church to do no less. How this world needs us to make Him known! “Having a good service” must not be the mission of our ministry. Certainly, we pray and plan and prepare so that we can have a great service with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit… .but, that’s not our mission. Our mission is to make Him known.
We live in a world that is reeling from the perils of a two-year pandemic. How our country needs the message of Christmas: For God So Loved The World That He Gave Us His Son!
We must not become so consumed with preparing for Christmas that we miss the opportunity to make Him known. May the Holy Spirit help us to be on high alert and hyper-sensitive to the needs of people as we move through this very sacred Season.