There is something so motivational (and yet ominous) about the truth that we become like what we behold.
In the routine of life, I may go through days half asleep. Or worse yet, I may come to the startling realization that I’m paying attention to all the wrong things. Which is why I am thankful every Christmas, the message of the angel in Luke 2 trumpets an invitation to me to turn my attention to that which is most consequential — beholding the glory of God:
“Fear not, for BEHOLD, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people . . .” (Luke 2:10).
Surrounded by a multitude of the heavenly host, these shepherds were eye-witnesses to the glory of the Lord, shining all around them.
Me too! But not only during the Christmas season.
I see the truth of this in Psalm 19:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies show forth the work of His hands.”
All my senses become partners with the eyes of my heart in perceiving the glory of God through the physical world, through my circumstances and through the people God brings into my life.
I hear the doubters in the courtroom of the internet crying: “Objection! Those shepherds had an advantage! Angels don’t show up every day!”
But don’t wait for angels.
Pay attention to God showing up in your “days of mundane faithfulness,” * and hear the message in your heart: Behold the glory of God.
C.S. Lewis told a story from his own life about perspective, and it demonstrates how paying attention with our eyes helps us to see the glory of God:
He was standing in a dark toolshed. The sun was shining brightly outside, and through the crack at the top of the door came a sunbeam. Inside, the toolshed was still pitch black, so when he looked at the beam, all he could see was dust floating in the sunlight.
Then he changed his perspective. He adjusted his position so that he was looking along the beam, and instead of darkness and dust, he saw green leaves moving on the branches of the trees outside. He saw the sun itself, ninety-three million miles away!
Looking at the beam and looking along the beam are two very different experiences.
This Christmas, I want to look along the heavens, to behold the velvety black sky and the cold shimmer of starlight, and to hear their proclamation that God is glorious!
I want to look along the carols and the decorations; along the gifts and the parties with beloved family and friends.
I want to listen to the message of the angel, to open the eyes of my heart –and behold the glory of God.