Behold: A New Tradition for Christmas ASHERITAH CIUCIU
Behold: A New Tradition for Christmas
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29 (ESV)
“Perfect,” said the sweet little voice as she piped purple frosting and sprinkled glitter.
My young daughter was helping me put on the finishing touches for a family party the next day.
I had created a Pinterest board for inspiration but made the mistake of showing it to my little girl. She was instantly hooked, scrolling through the photos and studying them as closely as a marine biologist studies a rare coral species.
She scrolled the board during car rides and before bedtime; she searched for items to replicate pins; she regaled us with her enthusiasm over the most minute details.
She was obsessed.
The night before our party, she helped me decorate the table and make the appetizers, regularly consulting the inspirational board for guidance.
“Perfect,” she declared as she adjusted the napkins under the silverware.
“Perfect,” she sighed as she stepped back to admire the table, decked out in partyware.
“Not perfect,” she harumphed, walking into the living room strewn with toys and clothes. “Mama, this room is not perfect. Look!”
And I looked. It was nothing like the Pinterest-perfect images. We cleaned it up that night, but disappointment lingered — it failed to live up to the ideal my daughter had envisioned.
Because what you behold is what will take hold of you. We know this instinctively, but sometimes we can forget, especially during the busy Christmas season.
The Bible tells us about the importance of this very principle. When Jesus first walked onto the scene, John the Baptist introduced Him by saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b).
John wanted people to stop what they were doing to gaze at Jesus. In fact, the surrounding context in John 1:29-34 features a variation of the word “see” four times in just six verses. “Look,” John was saying. “See what’s in front of you.”
Behold. It’s a word we don’t use very often, but one that’s rich with meaning. Behold means to see or observe, gaze at, contemplate.
We’re always beholding, even if we’re not aware of it.
We behold the shiny purses and glittering things in storefronts, believing somehow, “This will make me happy.”
We behold the number on the scale when holiday bites catch up with our waistline, groaning, “This will ruin me.”
We behold the Christmas family photo we posted, hoping to get more likes than her photo did, whispering, “This will validate me.”
Behold. Look at the wrong things, and they determine your life’s direction. But … train your gaze on the right things, and they’ll transform your heart’s affections. Because when you stop to behold Jesus, His beauty and majesty will captivate you.
Jesus’ arrival and mission consumed John — it was all he ever talked about. John declared, “I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (John 1:34, ESV). Because what you behold is what will take hold of you.
What things captivate us during the holiday season?
We’re bombarded by shiny things screaming for our attention. Christmas catalogs. Black Friday “deals.” Pinterest-ready cookie platters. Swoon-worthy party dresses. These and so much more fill our newsfeeds, our to-do lists, our conversations.
If we’re not careful, we can get so wrapped up in the external preparations for Christmas that we forget to unwrap the reality of Christmas.
The Lamb of God. The One who came to take away the sins of the world that we may find forgiveness and eternal life with God.
This Christmas pause to reflect: What’s taken a hold of you? Most likely, it’s the things you behold.
But take heart — it’s not too late to make a new tradition this holiday season, to take time each day to stop the holiday preparation frenzy and prepare your heart to celebrate Jesus.
Behold Him. Gaze upon His beauty. Rest in His presence. And share with others the things you discover about Him.
This Christmas season may we become women who behold Jesus.
Father God, open my eyes to behold Jesus in all His glory. May I stop being consumed with the holiday frenzy and become more captivated with You and the beauty of Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 12:2a, “[Look] unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (KJV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Take a moment to reflect: How can you behold Jesus this Christmas season? Ask the Holy Spirit to captivate your heart with His presence.