‘All eyes on the baby’


With the passing of Thanksgiving we now enter the season of Advent. For the uninitiated, that means that for Christians everywhere, this time of the year is a time for preparing for the Christmas holiday, emphasizing through this season of time the true meaning of this very significant holiday.

You see, over the course of time retailers have discovered that this season is a most profitable one for them. Many of them will make more profit during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas than during the rest of the year all together. Therefore, it is no surprise that they avidly and actively promote anything that points to the “spirit of the holidays.” Christians who are trying to keep Christ in Christmas then find themselves often at odds with this mercantile spirit and militantly attempting to point people away from the commercial. If I may, I would venture another option.

Rather than constantly engaging in warfare with the retail establishment, may I suggest that we simply concentrate on developing a new way of thinking: My bride spent over 25 years in the banking industry, most of it in the retail side of the business, the customer service arena. She dealt with customers like you and me every day. Part of the training in that area of service was the recognition of counterfeit money when it crosses the counter. Every bank teller must be able to recognize the true from the false. And even the worst bank teller will tell you that the best way to know when something is counterfeit is to handle what is true, to know what it feels like, to handle it often. Concentrating on what is true rather than what is false is always the best way to carry on each day.

The same is true for Advent. Rather than concentrate on what everyone around us is doing to detract from the spirit of the season, this Christmas I am encouraging each of us to concentrate on what the season is all about and sharing the fruit of that concentration with any who will listen.

In December of 1948, a very important event occurred. It was the baptism of a young prince named Charles, who one day would be king. He was just a month old. Afterward, a series of photographs were taken which would mark that baptismal event in history as a very significant time in the United Kingdom. One of those pictures was a rather intimate photo of the immediate family of that child. Grandparents (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) and parents (Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip) were all surrounding the newborn baby Charles and every eye was focused on him. That photograph was run center stage in the newspapers the next day. One of the headlines underneath that picture said it all: “All Eyes on the Baby!”

The truth about Advent includes the very important lesson from the Scriptures, which should bear the same inscription: “All eyes on the baby!” It really does not matter where you look in the Scriptures, you will see this truth when it comes to the Advent season and message “All eyes on the baby!”

One can look at the lengthy genealogies, the Old Testament prophets, the angel Gabriel as he makes his rounds whether to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, or to Joseph or Mary or the shepherds. We see all eyes on the Christ Child if we look at Simeon, Anna or even the wise men from the East.

That lesson begins with the words of John the Baptist as he quotes from the prophet Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord/ Make His paths straight” (Matt.3:3).

Advent then is a time of preparation, a time of anticipation and expectation, a time of even waiting for Christmas, where we look forward to the celebration of the birth of the Savior, who indeed saved those who trust in Him from our sins. “All eyes on the baby!” then is looking at/to/for the Savior, rather than the next big sale. May I strongly encourage you this Christmas to keep your focus on the baby, looking at the original, not at counterfeits.

God bless…

Chuck Tabor is a religion columnist for The Times-Gazette and a former Hillsboro area pastor who now resides in Florida. He can be reached at [email protected].

No posts to display