‘Always Winter… Never Christmas’ (No 10)

We come to the last phase of our cycle of our following Jesus which is Harmony. Perplexity does not last forever. A healthy journey through the valley of the shadow of death always ends when the sorrow and pain of the shadows suddenly melt away and we leave the valley behind. Suddenly, we stand under open skies and see new vistas. This is not because we have all the answers, but because we have grown into a new perspective, a new hope grounded in humility.

One of the words that describes this new perspective is ‘Behold’. It is like the moment when you have made that gruelling climb up a wooded slope and suddenly you leave the trees behind for a view you have never seen before which leaves you speechless. Or you might have the familiar view from Curbar Edge made all the more worthwhile because of the strain and pain because of the long walk up from Calver.

This is what ‘Behold’ does as you take in this new view of who God is, of what he is like and what he does. ‘Behold’ reminds you how you have changed as you gaze at God afresh. It is not that what you had believed previously was wrong, but because of your journey you realise that they are not as complete as you may have once thought before.

‘Behold’ is how the book of Job works. The long and tortuous conversations Job has with his friends and then with Elihu are all put into perspective not merely by his sufferings but by God speaking to him. God instead of answering Job’s questions lifts him up to a higher perspective where his questions and challenges suddenly don’t seem so important anymore.

‘Behold’ is what happens to Thomas when he meets the risen Jesus who invites him to put his finger in the nail holes and his hand into his side. Yet, when Thomas sees Jesus, all he can do is confess him as Lord and God because this is what wonder does.

‘Behold’ is just another way of speaking about the awe and wonder of when we soak ourselves in the splendour and glory of God afresh. When we realise how small our questions and our perspective are before the vastness of God. When the questions of ‘When?’, ‘No!’ and ‘Why?’ prove that reason can only go so far and that faith in the light of ‘Behold’ is built on the vastness of God’s love and his continuous invitation to know him better.

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