WHAT DO YOU SEE 12-15-19
What Do You See?
December 15, 2019
I recently saw something on Facebook that I shared with son, Tommy, both because he likes trains and because he has his mother’s sense of humor. But the actual message in what I shared with him has inspired my message for you today. It went like this, “A pessimist sees a dark tunnel. An optimist sees light at the end of the tunnel. A realist sees a freight train. The train driver sees three idiots standing on the tracks.”
Then there are the words to a popular Christmas song… “Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see what I see? Way up in the sky, little lamb, do you see what I see? A star, a star, dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite.”
If you saw that special star over 2000 years ago what would you have seen? For the realists among us, there is a wonderful article online published in ‘The Conversation’ on Dec. 23, 2014 entitled “Can Astronomy Explain the Biblical Star of Bethlehem”. Here is the link: http://theconversation.com/can-astronomy-explain-the-biblical-star-of-bethlehem-35126. I, for one, am truly convinced that science and Christianity are not at odds with each other, but entirely complimentary. Jesus never expected us to have blind faith. The faith of a child, yes, but what child do you know that doesn’t constantly question everything? How does that work? Why do I have to do this? When are we going? And on and on… But like children, while there are some things we cannot yet fully understand, the more our knowledge grows, the more our trust in our heavenly Father also grows, as His Word reveals the truth to our spirits. The wise men knew what the star meant and sought Jesus, the promised Messiah. And as the saying goes, “Wise men still seek Him”.
What does the optimist see? Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love shining with the light of heaven to reveal the way to God through His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, who humbled himself by being born of Mary, a young virgin who conceived his human form via the Holy Spirit. And having received him through faith, they know that all the trials of this life are nothing compared to the glory which they will share with Christ one day. For as the apostle John wrote, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13). Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for all who believe, the light of heaven, which also shines in our hearts, as the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
But the pessimist believes it is all too good to be true. Because he doubts God and shuns the Holy Spirit he only see black clouds and cannot see the star and what it reveals to hearts that are open to God. The commercialism of Christmas today has further blinded him to its truth, and kept its message of hope, peace, joy and love from lifting his spirit out of despair. These are the people Christ wants us to reach. We are not to keep the light of Christmas confined to a church building, but to take it out into the dark world and shine it brightly, to lead them to Christ just as the star did so many years ago.
The train driver? I envision him as Satan himself, eager to run over Christians, Agnostics, and Atheists alike. Leave no man standing. To him they are all idiots. In spite of the fact that the end of the story has already been written, and in the end he will be thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity, he still persists. Revelation 12:12 warns us that “He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
So what do you see? Do you see what I see? Do you see a star in the heavens heralding the birth of Almighty God in human form for our redemption and salvation? Yes, Jesus, who brings new life to us who were dead in trespasses and sins, and identifies “us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.” (2 Corinthians 1:22).
Or do you only see the manmade stars atop decorated Christmas trees, but not the star they represent? Or maybe at one time your heart saw the star, but its light has been dimmed by past Christmases that were shrouded in tragedy or sorrow. I’ve had quite a few of those myself, but the love of Christ can overpower any grief or trial that Satan sends your way. Let Jesus fill your heart with joy once again. Remember what the angels said to the shepherds, ““Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10). May you experience that great joy this Christmas and throughout the coming year. Amen.
Opening Video: “The Star of Bethlehem” (James Loynes and Sally DeFord) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HSJqcxiw4I
Closing Video: “Do You Hear What I Hear” (The Five Strings) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZpzv_IDOP8