Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 NKJV
Do You Hear What I Hear is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I remember singing it, minus two front teeth, in 1st grade at the Bell Road Elementary School Christmas Program. (Yep, back then it was called a Christmas program!) I can still hear the words echoing. “Do you see what I see? Do you see what I see?” What I didn’t know then was how the song came to be written. In 1962, a couple, Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne, wrote it as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I’m not sure what their religious affiliations were but I am inspired that the eyes of their heart saw Christ the Savior bringing peace in a time when our world was at the brink of a possible nuclear disaster. (CLICK HERE to view Do You Hear What I Hear)
During this Christmas season, this song raises the question, “What do we see when we look at things?” Recently, while studying for a speaking engagement, I noticed the word “behold” is often repeated throughout the Christmas Story. We see it when the angel appears to Joseph in a dream (Matthew 1:20 NKJV), in the angel’s appearance to Zachariah, (Luke 1:20 NKJV) in the angel’s appearance to Mary, (Luke 1:31 NKJV) in the angel’s appearance to the shepherds, (Luke 2:10 NKJV) and in the story of the aging Simeon, who was promised that before his death, he would see the Christ. (Luke 2:25 NKJV) The word “behold” means to “see, regard, watch, consider, to look with attention and earnestness”. (Note: I am not a King James Only person but just want to point out the word “behold” is used 1326 times in the Authorized King James Version, 1058 times in the Amplified Bible, 593 times in the New King James Version and only 6 times in the New International Version. Apparently there is a lot of things God wants us to see in His Word!)
Why is it important for us to “behold” or “see” the Christmas story? Without the lens of “good tidings of great joy” we succumb to fear and doubt. In this story we SEE God’s love (John 3:16) which casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18) We SEE that God keeps His promises and His Word can be trusted. (Matthew 1:22-23) The Messiah was promised from the beginning in Genesis 3:15 and the prophets prophesied he would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) In the birth of John the Baptist and the virgin birth (Luke 1:35-36) we SEE that nothing is impossible for God!
How we see determines how we live. LH