”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation… And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect… Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 11:1-2, 39-40; 12:1-2)
The Christmas Story is not just what happened in a crowded manger that fateful night in Bethlehem. It’s actually part of a larger and greater story that goes back to the very beginning when God created the world. From that moment on, the Bible’s stories of people like Adam, Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, Ruth, David, or Esther are all intended to point us to one, grand, overarching Story.
God gives us these smaller stories to show us how much He loves us and to help us see His plan to rescue us. In them, we see people who chose to obey God because they had faith in the promise of a future Savior. It was a promise they believed, even though their eyes could not see it. As we read their stories, we get to look back with new eyes and see these stories through a different lens. We see who these stories are truly pointing us to: Jesus Christ. In every story of the Old Testament, Jesus is the answer to the question: “Do you see what I see?” See the ark that saved Noah? (Genesis 6-10) See the ram caught in the bushes that was sacrificed instead of Isaac? (Genesis 22:13) See the red cord hanging from Rahab’s window that saved her family from destruction? (Joshua 2:18) See the fourth person walking in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? (Daniel 3:25) Do you see what I see?
All of these stories invite us to see Jesus, the Savior of the world, who came as a baby in that manger in Bethlehem. Christmas is a time to fix our eyes on Christ, and look at the wonderful, beautiful story of His love for us, not just in the Gospels, but in the entirety of Scripture. Do you see what I see?
Look for the ornament pages from in our Advent guide and find the one for today. On your ornament draw a pair of eyes to remind you to keep looking for clues to the Christmas story all throughout the Bible. Work together as a family to memorize Hebrews 11:1 and talk about what it means to have faith and trust God, His Word, and His promises.