December 23, 2011

Christmas is for the Watchers

I light the candles scattered among our nativities, and my soul whispers the familiar word that dominates my thoughts.


As our family keeps watch, I consider how that first Christmas was for the watchers. 

Joseph, watching for a roof to shelter his betrothed, great with child. Watching for a place fitting to birth the Prince of Peace. Weariness from the journey did not deter him.  This night - this holy night - was for watching in awe as the Creator came to His creation, helpless and tiny.  

Mary, keeping watch over her newborn son and pondering the miraculous in her heart. Her song was sung long before. She praised God before her delivery. She praised God before her deliverance. This night - this silent night - was for watching over the Lord of All.

Shepherds, watching over their flocks that night. They worked though all of Israel groaned with the years of waiting to hear from God. Carrying out their duties as usual, not knowing that their lives were about to be radically changed.  Not men of much learning, but wise enough to leave the work behind and follow the Lord's proclamation. This night - this glorious night - was for watching God keep His promise in the most unexpected of ways.

Magi, watching the brightest star appear in the sky. At just the right time, it appeared to herald the incomparable work of God. Though they didn't have the Scriptures, they couldn't deny Him.  They left everything behind to find Him. This night - this wondrous night - was for watching God's brilliance overtake the darkness.

I watch the flames flicker, shadows dancing over the birth scenes. Despite Joseph's weariness, Mary's weakness, and the disappointing circumstances they found upon their arrival in Bethlehem - despite it all, God came.

And the world, not watching, missed it.

I close my eyes, think long about my own weariness, weakness, and disappointing circumstances. Then I glance again at the Babe, and I remember that God will come.

And so I keep watching.


Persis said...


Praying you have a blessed and refreshing Christmas with your family. And much grace as you wait on the Lord.


Becky said...


I love and I am grateful that this season we can be reminded that hope is true; our hope in God's promises is not empty. It is sure.



Leah in Iowa said...

What a blessing and an example you are to me, Melissa! That even now as you have a heavy heart, it's still a hopeful heart. May God give you all the things you need today, and through this Christmas season. Praying it's one you'll never forget!

Love and Hugs,

- Leah

Lisa writes... said...

So thankful for you, friend, and for your persistent, watchful faith! The Lord is faithful!