Friday, December 10, 2010

Searchin’ for Christmas

Reality Check Repost: Searchin' For Christmas

We have a lovely choir in our church with about 75 voices, and a live orchestra that provides some awesome accompaniment. Every year we do a Christmas musical, complete with drama, special effects, and computerized lights in a giant Christmas tree that holds the singers. You have to be careful how much hairspray you use when you are standing in the tree; one wrong move and you could be bald. However, there’s a lot of work and effort and prayer invested in these performances, and with an average attendance of over 1,000 people per night for six nights, we are blessed to see many lives touched by the Gospel. Long after the last night, we hear reports of people that were saved, or that were encouraged to return to church after attending one of these presentations.

This year, one of the songs we are doing is the Southern Gospel favorite, “Searchin’”. It is the background for the part in the presentation where the wise men are looking for the Baby Jesus. It struck me the other day how persistent these men were. They were so utterly convinced that there was a king who was born, and that they would find him, that they searched a long time and over many miles to find this baby. They faced a strange King who tried to deceive them. They faced harsh weather conditions, different languages and strange customs. But they held onto their goal and their purpose, until what they were sure existed became reality. And it wasn’t even “their” king. They weren’t Roman. They weren’t Jewish. They had no political connections to these people. They didn’t worship the same God as the Jews or the Greeks. But they knew this baby was different and they had to find Him.

What amazes me about this is how strong these men were in their belief. They had ancient writings to go by, and stars, but that was all. Here we are in this day when God is at work all around us. People are saved and healed, lives are changed, and the Holy Spirit is working constantly to draw people to Jesus. We have the Word of God available freely in bookstores, on the Net, on the radio, on TV. We have concordances and study guides, knowledgeable Pastors and Bible-believing Churches, and again, the Holy Spirit to lead and teach us when we can’t understand. So many ways in which God has blessed us with His Presence, yet still we waver and doubt and have trouble even looking up, let alone seeing any of the tangible ways He is using to guide us.

We search for His Will in our lives, we search for His love when we feel unlovable, and we search for meaning when life becomes endless, fruitless, or just depressing. We want answers immediately, and we want them to be the answers we expect. We ask for blessings and help, when it has already been given and we just can’t see it. Sometimes what we are searching for is right with us, and we don’t stop our frantic busyness long enough to see it. Unlike the Magi, we don’t bother to read the signs; we just figure we already know what they say and forge ahead, mistaking a “dead end” for a “one way”. We crash and burn and we don’t know why, and then we blame God for misleading us.

I hope this Christmas we will all take time to stop and look for God’s direction in the every day events, the little things that He sends us to show He cares. A kind word and a smile from a stranger, a beautiful carol of God’s love that comes on the store speakers in between Santa and Rudolph, a card from someone telling you they said a prayer for you today. And perhaps He wants to use you as His arms and feet, and as you extend His love to someone else, He can show you that you do matter, you are lovable, you are important in His scheme of things. Let His Word be a lamp to show you where to put your next step.

This world seems to get faster and busier on a daily basis, and sometimes it seems hard to keep up. If you are like me, there are times when the stress takes you to the edge and you are slipping over, while looking around frantically for a handhold, a branch, a rock, anything to keep you from falling. Maybe what it takes is a strengthening of faith in what is not seen, a more deliberate searching for what we really know is there. Because that first Christmas provided a Rock that we can stand on forever. It’s just a matter of knowing. And believing. Searching with total faith that God is in every situation.

Have a blessed Christmas. And keep on “Searchin’” till you’ve found the King of Kings!

By Lorraine Walker
First published December 2005

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