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“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all people for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, Christ the Lord.” 

That little invitation, “Behold!” is pregnant with possibilities; it requires the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our hearts so we can truly experience Immanuel, God with us. During this season, we have the opportunity to reset and reposition ourselves and our priorities toward Christ until the “things of Earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”  

Beholding The Christ requires surrendering our will, abilities and realities. 
Beholding the Christ requires trust, humility and obedience.

Anna was part of the amazing few who grabbed hold of The Christ right away.  In that time, she was an insignificant, sad, poor, old temple widow.  Yet, Anna focused on the Lord, prepared in prayer and fasting most of her life for the coming consolation of us all.  Anna beheld all that was Christ and broke free from the constraints of her culture, gender, poverty and age.  Anna’s history, identity and legacy changed forever, remembered as the prophet of God who looked full in Christ’s wonderful face.  

God has used a couple of Annas in my faith journey. My grandmother was one; she taught me to worship and pray in all circumstances.

I met another Anna when I was 25 doing development work in Uganda. I was out to do ‘practical missions’ and combat the global misery (God) allowed to happen. While working with a grassroots organization, I met this poor, frail old Jaja (grandmother) who cared for ten grandchildren because at least three of her own children died from AIDS. On the better days, she managed to feed her grandbabies one meal. Despite all of this, she hoped in, loved and praised God; she couldn’t give much stuff to her grandchildren; but she gave them Jesus. I beheld Christ’s light illuminating the Jaja's face.

These Annas taught me about holding onto Christ.

The Lord invites us to Behold Jesus: to encounter, hear, taste, know, and understand all that Jesus is as God incarnate in our lives and in this World. Christ was gifted to us so we can boldly grab hold of all of Jesus: thanksgiving, hope, joy, peace, mercy, justice, healing, enduring faith and love.

I ask The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you His Holy Spirit to make you wise and understand what it means to know God. May Christ’s light flood your hearts to know the hope given to you when Jesus chose you. May you discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people. God, make known the great and mighty power of Christ to Your Children (Eph 1:17-20).

May you behold The Christ. Amen.

Reflection Questions

In 2022...

  1. What is God asking you to surrender?
  2. How is The Holy Spirit guiding you to pray and prepare to behold The Christ?
  3. Who are the Annas you give thanks for, who taught you to look to Christ?
  4. What substance of Christ is your soul yearning to grab hold of this new year? Faith? Hope? Love? Joy? Healing? Perseverance? God’s Word?