Cherishing the healing Christ

How wonderful to have been one of the visitors who came to see the infant Jesus that first Christmastide! Perhaps there were some the Bible doesn't mention: curious townspeople or strangers who were in Bethlehem for the tax enrollment as Mary and Joseph were. The Bible, however, does tell us of one particular group of visitors to the newborn child, the shepherds. A Bible commentary refers to them as very special shepherds, because they were charged with keeping the sheep for the temple itself. See J. R. Dummelow, The One-Volume Bible Commentary (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936), p. 742 . So they were engaged already in a holy task. Can't you picture these visitors coming quietly, reverently, into the presence of Christ Jesus?

At Christmas, or at any time of the year, we too can come quietly into the presence of the Christ. Although Jesus as child or man is no longer here, the Christ, the eternal Truth he lived and expressed, is always with us, imparting to us the power and peace of God. It may not be easy to feel the presence of the Christ in a crowded department store or at a noisy cocktail party. We find this presence as we search and listen and watch, like the wise men. They left known and loved surroundings, stepping out courageously into the unknown. Finding the Christ today often involves leaving the familiar, sometimes relinquishing dependence on human hands for the guiding hand of God.

Do you love the Messiah?
December 16, 1985

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