Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“When [the three wise men] heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. “
Matthew 2: 9-11 (NKJV)
This year just our younger granddaughter, Ellie Kate, was able to go with us. Keeping the tradition, usually with both of our precious granddaughters, last weekend we attended the annual Christmas musical presentation at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. This was the ninth year in a row we were able to attend,
What I am about to share occurred during the first pageant we attended together, and became one of those unexpected moments of life-changing clarity.
And once again it came from a precious little child as we were surrounded with the story of the life of Christ through the spectacular pageantry, music and narration of “The Promise of Christmas” performed that year at Exciting Idlewild Baptist in Tampa, Florida.
On that occasion, our two granddaughters, Hannah and Ellie Kate, were both with us, and as it turned out, didn’t need the drawing pads and markers their daddy brought to help them through the two plus hours of the pageant—they were mesmerized by the entire presentation.
Our four-year-old at the time, Ellie Kate, was seated throughout the performance on her daddy’s lap and at one point in the story, sometime after the birth of the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem, and with other characters still on stage, she asked:
“Daddy, where is Jesus?” To which Nathan responded, “He’ll be back in a minute, sweetie.”
But Daddy, “I want to see Jesus!”
There it is. That moment of clarity and passion penetrating whatever else is going on in our lives. That same moment of clarity the three wise men experienced as they simply followed the light shining down from the star to the place where the Christ Child lay.
They wanted to see Jesus. And when they arrived at the manger in Bethlehem, they looked past everything else and “fell down and worshipped Him.” They simply worshipped Him!
One of the songs from the performance that night conveyed the same message as my granddaughter, with these words:
Though the road is long, our hearts are drawn,
Searching for the place where at last we’ll see His face.
Looking to the star, we’ll carry on, we’ll carry on.
Follow the Light, piercing the darkness,
Hope shining bright, Heaven will guide us,
Seeking the One whose power is with us,
The Glory of God—Follow the Light.
Careening her neck to see past the heads of the people seated in front of her, and the distraction of folks trying to find their seats in the darkened worship center, while sitting higher-and-higher on her daddy’s lap, our precious Ellie Kate searched to see Jesus throughout the pageant. She simply tried to “follow the Light.”
It’s that simple.
And maybe that’s what you and I need to do more of today and in all our tomorrows.
Yet too many things which end up filling our days, tend to cloud and distract us from that simple mission of following the Light—the One true Light. Too many of the problems and worries of the day and the anxiety about tomorrow obscure our gaze from the Light. The economy is in the doldrums, a loved one has been in an accident, an illness is not responding to treatment as the doctors thought it would, the memories of Christmases past still haunt us—carrying with us an emptiness for loved ones we miss, or heartaches from things we can’t get beyond.
Sadly, our journey to find the Light is also occasionally clouded by those who mean well, but who place layer after layer of religious dogma, rules and regulations on the “Light.” And it too often happens in those very places where people come believing they will find clarity, healing and hope—and instead too often they find thickening clouds preventing them from seeing that one true Light of Hope. The Light of the Christ Child.
It’s not the way God intended it to be when He sent His Son for you and for me, in that moment of eternal life-changing possibility.
“Daddy, I want to see Jesus!”
There it was. And there it is. And it was one of those unexpected moments of life-changing clarity from a little child that blessed night so many years ago.
Thank you, Ellie Kate.
I understand—Simply follow the Light.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.