Last night after practice, four of our kids and I ended up having an entire indoor soccer field to ourselves. So we decided to spread out. Alexa practiced some shots on me in the goal and the three boys were about sixty yards away on the opposite end of the field, playing a game of their own.
It was an incredibly large space for five total people.
At one point from across the field, our youngest yelled out, “Daddy, look at me.”
So I did.
I looked for something extraordinary that would cause him to yell out my name and ask me to look at him. I could have imagined him perched up on the wall or in some part of the field that was off limits. No, he was just a long ways away and for some reason decided to yell over to me to look at him.
I could be wrong, but I think the reason he yelled at me to look at him was that he wanted to know that I saw him and cared about him and would look if he asked me to look.
There is something incredibly refreshing about a five-year-old simply asking to be seen. As we get older the desire to be noticed doesn’t go away, in fact, it may even grow. However, the way we communicate that desire changes drastically.
We tend to find safer ways to get our affirmation. Some of us get busy and try to make a name for ourselves. Others of us pursue relationships looking for someone to affirm us. There are still others who resort to extremes to call for attention.
2,700 years ago, there was a group of people who wanted to be noticed. They were on the verge of food shortage and captivity. Their lives were being rocked by anxiety. They were incredibly insecure. They had begun to look for affirmation in the pagan culture that had overtaken their country.
And then they received this word from the Prophet Isaiah, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:6-7).
It must have been life-giving for them to hear that God was still watching over them.
This Sunday, we begin our Christmas sermon series entitle, “Beyond the Manger.” We want to communicate why Jesus came to earth and the effect that He has had on mankind. This Sunday we will learn from Isaiah 9:1-7 that there will be times when we feel forgotten and insecure, but we have hope and a guarantee that God sees us and cares for us.