Did you ever watch a baby receive their first gift? They’re not quite sure what to do with it, but they like the bright paper. They’ll feel the present, maybe even try to chew it. After someone shows them how, they start tearing the paper off because they like the sound of the paper ripping. Then they play with the box for a few minutes until someone helps them open it to see what’s inside. After a few minutes of excitement over the contents of the box, they put down the toy and go back to playing with the box with an equal amount of excitement. They enjoy it with their whole being!
So what would it look like if we celebrated Jesus – God’s gift to us – with our whole being, with all five senses like a child?
Hearing – The Shepherds heard the angels’ message of a Savior that was born and they were afraid at first, then filled with awe as they listened. The words filled their hearts so full of hope and praise, they simply had to worship right where they were on the hillside.
Pretend you are hearing the angels’ message for the first time. What emotions would you feel?
Seeing – They saw the angels and fell on their faces. But then I imagine they looked up in wonder as the message continued. Then they decided to act on the message of the angels and go see the baby who was born in a manger. Leaving their sheep on the hillside in God’s care, they went to Bethlehem to see what had come to pass. When they saw Jesus, they wept and worshipped again.
I don’t know about you, but all I have to do is look at the face of a new grand baby and my heart swells with love for that child. It’s not so difficult to imagine how the shepherds felt.
Tasting – Each season has it’s flavors. Christmas brings to mind peppermint, chocolate, cookies, ham dinners – with all the flavors enhanced by the love of family and friends as they gather together. When rejoicing with our loved ones, it’s not hard to remember to bless the Lord – to taste him and know he is good.
Touching – Nothing thrills my heart as much as the words in Mark Lowry’s song, “Mary Did You Know,” where he reminds her that “when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.” As a mom and now a Grandmom, I’ve known the thrill of holding a wonderful, touchable, huggable, kissable infant. But to imagine what Mary must have experienced as she held God in human form? Incomprehensible! Yet the thought of him becoming touchable thrills my heart.
Smelling – The scent of pine boughs, hay in the manger, the crispness and cleanness in the air after a newly fallen snow, Christmas cookies… So many seasonal smells conjure up images of the Christmas season.
Lord, help us to celebrate you with the excitement of a little child, with every fiber of our being as we see, hear, taste, touch and smell Christmas – the time of your coming in human form to redeem us! Amen.