Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Child

“Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass…” (Luke 2:15).

Some years ago Carolyn and I took our grandchildren to the Festival of the Trees, a local event in which businesses and organizations decorate Christmas trees, competing with one another in various categories. The display is magnificent.

We were enchanted by the grandeur of the trees as we moved from one to another, pointing and exclaiming. But one of our grandchildren, Melissa, soon lost interest, surfeited by splendor, until she came to a small manger scene and there she paused transfixed.

Nothing else mattered—not the magnificently decorated trees, not Santa Claus who was nearby and beckoning, not even the incredible talking tree. She was captivated by the Child.

We tried our best to urge her on—we wanted to see the rest of the trees—but she lingered behind, wanting to hold the baby, pressing closer to him despite the ribbon stretched around the cradle, keeping her away.

Finally, she agreed to leave, though reluctantly, looking back over her shoulder to get a glimpse of the crèche through the trees. And as we were leaving the building she asked once more to “see the baby.” We returned to the manger and waited while she gazed long and longing at Jesus. 

As Melissa adored Him, I marveled at her simplicity. Unlike her, I often fail to see the Child for the trees. “There are some things worth being a child to get hold of again,” George MacDonald said. “Make me a child again,” I prayed, “at least for tonight.”


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