On weekdays, around 5: 40PM, I drive down to the ferry to pick up my wife and then we both travel together to pick up our daughter, Bella, from her preschool. On our way back home, Bella usually talks up a storm and rare is the day when she doesn’t sing out a nursery rhyme that she had just learned in school. However, this December is extra special. As we drive home, as usual, she would sing or talk to us about several important issues in her little two-year-old world. However, whenever she would pass a house that is decorated with lights or spots a Christmas tree, she would stop chattering and shout out, “Look! Christmas!” She would do this every time. Sometimes she would shout, “Pretty!” or “Oh, that’s nice!”
On one particular drive home, we passed a large Nativity scene in front of a building close to the road. It was decorated with lights and the figures themselves were lit up. When Bella saw this for the first time, she quieted down and said softly, “Beautiful!” I responded by telling her it was indeed beautiful.
In thinking this over, my daughter has (once again) taught me something. In our lives, we do encounter many things that either point to God or reflect something wonderful about Him, and we exclaim how wonderful it is, or that it reminds us of Jesus. That’s the amazing thing about beauty: it reminds us of something greater. Paul agrees with this when he said:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
In a novel that I am currently writing, two of the main characters (Aldwin and Tymon) were discussing the issue of beauty. When Aldwin asked Tymon why did his country try to bring about beauty in everything it created, from architecture to the appearance of their technological hardware, Tymon responded by saying this:
“The thing about beauty is that it is not something you can codify, or make some mathematical formula for it, or even properly define it, no matter how eloquent your description. It has to be seen, or even felt, to be discovered…Yet, when you see beauty, when you see something that is undeniably beautiful, you have a sense that this beauty is revealing a shadowy reflection of something more real than this world has to offer. In many ways, beauty gives us a glimpse of divinity.”
This Christmas let us not forget Christ Himself. With all the lights, the Christmas trees and festivities, we have shadowy glimpses of the beauty that is Jesus. But take the time to encounter Him personally. Let us react just as my daughter did when she saw the Nativity scene. May we humble and quiet ourselves in the sight of Christ, and like Bella, say softly to the King… “Beautiful!”
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark!The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
~from the hymn, “Hark! The herald Angels Sing”