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  • Writer's pictureKelly Wright

Advent Day 23: Wonderful

By Kelly Wright

We all long for a Christmas and honestly a life that is full of good things like joy, peace, love, and hope. Yet, we face challenges that make this season the most stressful and busy or lonely and sad time of year. Our hope for these reflections is that we’d once again consider God’s invitation to receive God’s greatest gift – Jesus.

I love gifts. I love buying gifts, especially finding a meaningful gift for someone I love. I’m not crazy about wrapping gifts, but I’m here for all the rest of giving and receiving gifts. I love the anticipation of what’s been given – even at my age I look under the tree and wonder what is in the box with my name on it?

We wonder and look forward and maybe even peek to see what gifts have been given, but what we never do is receive a gift and leave it unopened. Even though we might have to wait until the right time, a gift was made to be opened.

The Christmas season is a time we are invited to open our hearts and receive the greatest gift given.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him once again. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

As we consider Jesus, each of us must answer this life-changing question – “What will I do with this gift?”

Maybe this year will be different than other years – maybe this Christmas you will receive the gift and take a new look at this baby that was given.

There is something very special about seeing a newborn baby. When both of my babies were born, there was so much time we spent just looking at each other – taking each other in.

eyes love baby

It’s no wonder God made newborn babies to be able to see 8-10 inches, which is the distance between the crook of the arm and the eyes of the one holding the baby. God designed us to bond and attach to babies and each other through gazing into each other’s eyes. When we look at babies, their brains release hormones, that help a baby’s brain to grow, which helps develop memory, thought and language.

God designed us to connect to one another through eye contact, but, sadly, somewhere along the way, as we grow up, we outgrow gazing or looking into the eyes of others and now, we barely glance at one another.

Dr. Curt Thompson writes, “Every one of us is born looking for someone looking for him or her.” Each of us were born looking for someone looking for us – someone who sees us and loves us – not based on what we do or what we accomplish – someone who really sees us and loves us deeply.

This Christmas season God reminds us that He sees us. He’s always seen us.

Job 34:21 - His eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step.

God doesn’t glance quickly at us, but He gazes deeply. He’s not as a far-away, distant judge, but a loving, caring Father. He’s been called El Roi – the God who sees.

In all our moments, all the highs and lows and everywhere in between, God, El Roi, sees. He sees because He loves. His eye is ever on us and we can rest knowing God is never unaware of what we are going through. He never slumbers or sleeps. He is always watching over us.

God sees us, but do we see God?

Instead of receiving the gift of Jesus, we look to so many other people or things and put the gift of Jesus off to the side of our lives.

Our gaze is on a lot of things, especially at Christmas. It’s a season where we put so much pressure on self and others to be perfect and meet unrealistic expectations. It’s a season of ever-increasing comparison – how do we measure up to others; and a season of conforming – where we exchange the true reason for the season for excessiveness.

But friends, we must remember that anything of creation will always leave us wanting.

We must remember that God sees and knows our every need. Jesus wants to exchange these challenges of conforming, comparing, and pressuring self and others and invites us to look to Him.

As we look to Jesus, we are reminded that just as all babies are looking for someone looking for them, Jesus was born looking for us.

Not just a glance, but a gaze. When we look to Him, we experience His love, joy, and peace that our hearts long for but that we often look for in anything but Jesus.


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