The Care of Christmas


Behold your God

Isaiah 40:9


Christmas is one of God’s most precious seasons, the time when He may celebrate the most. It’s hard to think of God celebrating at Christmas, the season of one of His greatest sacrifices. Easter is when He gave His most painful sacrifice, of course, but to accomplish Easter He had to send His Son to earth at Christmas, and all three of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, knew exactly what this would mean. He can celebrate Christmas though because that’s what makes His passion for people possible in the first place. This is why He wants us to rise up, speak up, act without fear, and bring His celebration to the lonely, the struggling, and the suffering everywhere, to say to them, “Behold your God (Isa 40:9-11)” who cares for you at Christmas.


Some around us have only known pain. Some have known failure. Many have known rejection and grief. There are those who have known drugs and immorality and drunkenness. Even the most successful often suffer in silence, never letting others know how empty their lives are and how vain their achievements have become. What they thought would be fulfilling has turned out to be futile and though they have more than they ever imagined they could gain, it’s only empty and of little lasting value. They are the ones who most need to behold the God who loves them. So we say to them, “Behold your God who calls you at Christmas.” We who have beheld our God serve them as we show them how to see Him through His Son who lives in us, the one who will rule over all the world in the time to come.


In this season when we give gifts to one another do we realize that we are God’s gifts to Him? Do we know that God gave His Son to us so He could receive us for Himself? You see God celebrates the coming of Jesus to us so He could celebrate the coming of us to Him. God’s call to us at Christmas is a motivation for us to call others to behold Him in us and want to know Him the way we know Him.


This is why He cares so fully for us, why He tends so totally to us, why He provides so completely for us, why He protects so peacefully for us. This is how those who suffer and struggle behold the God who gave everything for them because they see Him through our suffering and our struggling. This is why He brings us together and gathers us for worship. This is why our music at Christmas means so much to so many—it helps us to see our God not as many of our seasons misrepresent Him, but how He reveals Himself to all as the one who loves us and wants us to know Him so He can meet our needs.


This is why He lifts us up and carries us on our way, why He bears our struggles and stays with us in our worse moments. This is why He guides us to quiet waters and green pastures and refreshing places of rest. He wants those who don’t know Him to behold Him in His love for them, His provision for them, His gentleness toward them, and His passion for them through the way He treats us. We don’t deserve His gentleness any more than they do and many of them know this. So they wonder why we, who don’t deserve His care have it and they don’t. You can tell them, “When you look at me what you behold is not me but your God, the same God who will give to you what He has given to me and more.”


So do what Isaiah says: Behold your God! Here is what it means.


Behold your God wrapped tenderly in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

Behold your God asking questions of the teachers in the temple and giving amazing answers.

Behold your God discipling His followers on the road to Jerusalem.

Behold your God pleading with His Father in Gethsemane.

Behold your God questioning His Father from the cross.

Behold your God rising from the dead on the first Easter,

Behold your God ruling over the universe from His heavenly throne.


And behold your God living in you, speaking to the strugglers, comforting the suffering, restoring the prodigals, lifting up the failures, feeding the starving, and refreshing the hopeless.


Behold your God who cares for us at Christmas and calls on us to care for others as He cares for us.


Care for others as God has cared for you at Christmas so they can behold the one who wants to be their God.




Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.