What Do You See?

What Do You See?

December 23rd, 1973 @ 7:30 PM

Luke 2:15

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
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WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Luke 2:15

12-23-73    7:30 p.m.

 

 

Now we are not going to make this a stiff and formal service.  And to begin with, I felt of this marble floor, and it is cold; so we are not going to ask our youngsters to sit down on this marble floor, just Beverly Terrell, one of our girls.  But all of you children who are ten years of age, would you come down here, all of you who are ten?  How many of you who are ten years old, you come down here.  And Beverly, I want you to have one or two or three up here by me, and the rest of them I want you to have seated down here.  Is that all right?  All of you who are ten years old, you come down here.  See how many ten-year-olds that we have.  Now, how many of you are nine years old?  You come down here, all of you who are nine.  And Beverly let’s put some of our ten-year-olds up here by me.  All of you who are nine years old, you come down here.  I want just some of you to be seated around me here.  That’s right.  Just some of them; kind of the rest of them can be seated out there on that carpet.  Now, are there some eight-year-old children here tonight?  If you are eight years old, you all come and sit out there on the carpet.  That’s the way.  Just be seated out there on the carpet.  And you who are standing there, you can be seated on the carpet also.  That’s good.  That’s good.  That’s good.  Are there some eleven-year-old children here tonight?  We still have some room down here.  If you are eleven years old, just be seated out there on the carpet.  And that will be so wonderfully nice.  Oh, that’s perfect!

Now Beverly, we’re going to look in the manger, we’re going to look in the cattle shed, we’re going to look into the face of a little baby; and the wonder and the glory of that was incomparably sweet and precious.  And Beverly Terrell, I want you to sing a song, "Do You See What I See?  Do You Hear What I Hear?"  And we’re all going to look, and we’re all going to see, and we’re all going to hear tonight.  All right, Beverly.

 

Said the night wind to the little lamb,

"Do you see what I see?

Way up in the sky, little lamb,

Do you see what I see?

 

A star, a star

Dancing in the night

With a tail as big as a kite

With a tail as big as a kite

 

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,

"Do you hear what I hear?

Ringing through the sky, mighty king,

Do you hear what I hear?

 

A song, a song

High above the tree

With a voice as big as the sea

With a voice as big as the sea

 

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king

"Do you know what I know?

In your palace warm, mighty king,

Do you know what I know?

 

A Child, a Child

Shivers in the cold

Let us bring Him silver and gold

Let us bring Him silver and gold

 

Said the king to the people everywhere,

"Listen to what I say!

Pray for peace, people everywhere.

Listen to what I say!

 

The Child, the Child

Sleeping in the night

He will bring salvation and light

He will bring salvation and light

 

Bring us light!

[Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne]

 

Did you like that?

Oh dear!  There never was such a night as that night.  For thousands and thousands of years the world was in preparation for that night.  And when it came, you would have thought it would have been in Caesar’s palace in Rome, or it would have been in Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.  It wasn’t in anybody’s palace; it wasn’t in anybody’s mansion.  That night of all nights brought to us the greatest, sweetest gift God ever gave to man in a cattle stall in a manger.  And you know how it came to pass?  Out there in a big field, just beyond the city of Bethlehem, there were shepherds watching over their flocks.  And I can hear them talk, maybe as they sat around a fire, just as you are seated around me tonight.  And I can hear one shepherd say to another, "Oh, you know I love to be out here under the starry sky.  And I love to listen to the sweet night wind.  And things are so quiet and beautiful.  I love the life of a shepherd."  And another one would answer, "Did you know, there in the city of Bethlehem, oh! there are so many people?"  Another shepherd says, "Why?"  And he replies, "Because the great Roman emperor has said everybody is to write his name in the king’s big book; and they’re to go to the city in which their parents were born and there to have their names enrolled in the king’s big book.  And the crowd is just so big in Bethlehem."

And another shepherd says, "You know, Bethlehem is the City of David; that’s where he grew up as a boy."  And another shepherd says, "Wouldn’t it have been wonderful had we lived in the days of David, the great king?"  And another shepherd says, "But listen, but listen, as wonderful as David was, and as glorious as he was a king, God has said that David is going to have a descendent, there’s going to be a son born in the family and in the line of David, and He is going to be the greatest King of the world.  He is going to be the Lord of the whole universe!  And they tell us that He is going to be born in Bethlehem."  And while they were saying that, while they were talking about that, in the very midst of their saying those words, suddenly the whole heavens burst into glory!  Oh! it was wonderful.  It was wonderful.  "And an angel appeared, and said, In the city of Bethlehem, there is born to you this moment that King, the Son of David.  And then there appeared with the angel a host from heaven" [Luke 2:8-13].  Can you just see that in your mind?  The whole heavens filled, just covered with the glory of the angels of God, and they sang a song of praise and adoration to the Lord above, and to the little Child who was born in Bethlehem.  "And the [shepherds] said, "We must go, we must see this wondrous sight.  And they made their way with haste, and found the Babe in a manger, in a cattle stall" [Luke 2:15-16].

Did you ever see a little baby?  Its little hands are so prettily fashioned, little fingers, and feet, and face, and nose, and ears.  And they looked upon that little Child, and the mother, Mary, by His side, "Hush, hush; for the Child is asleep."

 

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
This little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

 

Hush, hush, the Baby is sleeping

So quietly resting His head on the hay

See how His mother is beaming

Her Child brings this whole world a hopeful new day

 

Angels announced His birth, peace to all men on earth

Gladly our voices raise, let your heart sing

 

Oh hush, hush, the Baby is sleeping

Tread softly, you shepherds, to welcome your King.

[Author Unknown]

 

And the lamb was so quiet, and the sheep and the cattle were so quiet, and the donkey was so quiet, the little Babe was sound asleep.

And in Jerusalem, the capital of Judea, Herod the king was on his throne.  He was greatly troubled because news came to him that another King had been born in Israel.  And he went to the doctors of the law, and to the rabbis, and to the learned men, and said, "Is this true, that there is to be born in Israel a King?"  And they said, "Yes."  And the king said, "Where is He to be born?"  And they said, "Micah the prophet said in Bethlehem" [Matthew 2:1-6].  Think what king Herod had an opportunity to do:  he had an opportunity to go see the Savior of the world; he had an opportunity to bow down before the Christ of God; he had an opportunity to offer to the little Child his throne and his crown, and to be the greatest king outside of God’s Son the Lord ever knew.  Did he do that?  No, no, for his heart was filled with rejection and unbelief.  He never heard the song in the air.  He never heard the Baby’s sweet cry – but we do.  And listen to it now.

 

There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky!

There’s a mother’s deep prayer, there’s a Baby’s low cry!

And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,

For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

 

Hallelujah! Oh how the angels sang!

Hallelujah! How it rang!

And the sky was bright, with a holy light;

It was the birthday of our King!

["There’s a Song in the Air"; Karl P. Harrington and Unknown]

 

And far, far away – we don’t know how far, far away – there were wise men, magi; they studied the stars, and they sought to find the God who created them.  And suddenly, there appeared to those men, far, far, away, a great, golden, new star [Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10].  And the star spoke to them in the language of God, that they could understand; and it said, "Follow me.  Follow me, and I’ll take you to the Savior of the world, the newborn King." And they followed the star day after day, across the country, across the rivers, across the trackless sands of the desert, and finally it led them to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem, and then to the little place where the Child Jesus lay.  And those wise men were wise, why?  Because they saw in the little Child the coming Savior of the world. He left His home in glory to come down to live with us.  And those men were taught of God that this One is the Savior of our souls:  leaving His home in glory, coming down to live here with us.  And they brought to Him beautiful gifts, such as only the magi, the wise men, could bring [Matthew 2:11].  And listen to their song about the Lord:

We three kings of Orient are,

Bearing gifts, we traverse afar,

Field and fountain, moor and mountain,

Following yonder star.

 

O, star of wonder, star of light,

Star with royal beauty bright,

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect light.

["We Three Kings"; John H. Hopkins, Jr.]

 

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,

When Thou camest to earth for me;

But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room

For Thy holy nativity.

 

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee.

["Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"; Emily E. Elliot]

 

Isn’t that wonderful, that those wise men should be able to see in that Child the King of the earth and the Savior of our souls?

Now there stood by the side of the little Jesus, Joseph, and his mother, Mary.  And upon a day there came to them an old prophet, and aged prophet.  And he said to Mary the mother, that, "This Child is set for the falling and the rising of many.  Yea," said the old prophet, "Yea," said that old preacher, "the day will come when a sword shall pierce thy soul also" [Luke 2:34-35].  What he was talking about was the day when the Child should grow up, and God should offer Him on the cross a sacrifice for our sins.  That’s the way we treated the sweet gift of God.  The Lord gave Him to us in Bethlehem with an angel’s song; and we gave Him back to God on the point of a Roman spear, when He was nailed and crucified for our sins [John 19:34].  But this is something that God did for us:  He gave us the little Baby Jesus, that we might be saved.  And we didn’t know that when He first came.  And this is a song about the little Baby Jesus, and how we treated Him; and it’s going to be sung for us by Dan Beam.

 

Sweet little Jesus Boy,

They made You be born in a manger

Sweet little Holy Child,

Didn’t know who You was.

 

Didn’t know You’d come to save us, Lord

To take our sins away

Our eyes was blind, we couldn’t see

We didn’t know who You was.

 

Long time ago, You was born

Born in a manger low

Sweet little Jesus Boy

The world treat You mean, Lord

Treats me mean, too

But that’s how things is down here

We don’t know who You is.

 

You done told us how

We is a’tryin’

Master You done showed us how

Even when You’s dyin’

Just seem like we can’t do right

Look how we treated You

But please, Sir, forgive us, Lord

We didn’t know ’twas You.

 

Sweet little Jesus Boy,

Born long time ago

Sweet little Holy Child,

And we didn’t know who You was.

["Sweet Little Jesus Boy"; Robert MacGimsey]

 

And tonight, with the shepherds, with the wise men, and with our fathers and mothers, we’re going to bow down before the sweet little Jesus Boy; and give our lives to Him, and to praise God for all that He means and has done for us.  Now we’re going to have a service, and I’ll guide you in it along the way.  And first of all, all of you boys and girls now, go back to where your daddy and mother are; you go back where your father and mother are.  And as we begin our service of consecration, our fathers and mothers who have children that are six years old and under, I want you to bring them and come down here and stand by me.  If you have a baby in the nursery, go get the baby in the nursery, and hold the child in your arms, and come and stand by me.  All of our fathers and mothers who have children six years of age and under, and if the children are in the nursery, you go back to the nursery and bring the child, and come and stand here by me.

Now, Gary, you want to lead us in a song of some sweet meaning?

 

He is life unto this soul of mine

My Jesus, my Jesus.

He is life unto this soul of mine,

Jesus Christ, my Lord divine.

 

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,

He is life unto this soul of mine,

Jesus Christ, my Lord divine.

 

I will praise His name forever

My Jesus, my Jesus.

I will praise His name forever,

Jesus Christ, my Lord divine.

 

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,

I will praise His name forever,

Jesus Christ, my Lord divine.

[Author and Work Unknown]

 

I think the father already has the child in his arms.  If not, I want the father to hold the child because I’m going to ask you to kneel, and it will take the father to hold the child for you to kneel.  Now with the children, in the presence of our blessed Lord, who looks down upon us from heaven, let us kneel in this prayer of consecration.

Our precious Jesus, who came into the world as a little baby, like these little babies, who grew up as a little child as these little children, who was obedient to His parents, who knew what it was to cry as a child, to be hungry and thirsty, and to be cared for by a dedicated father and mother, and our Lord, in the example that You knew growing up, as we grow up, may the heavenly Savior look down in blessing upon our children.  And in the homes of these fathers and mothers, O blessed Lord, may the child grow up knowing Thee.  And may the father and mother walk in the way before them, as to guide them in the paths of the sweet blessedness of Jesus.  And for Thy goodness, Lord, and Thy remembrance as we dedicated our children to Thee, we shall thank Thee forever.  In the Spirit of Jesus and in His precious name, amen.

Now, thank you, and you all may take your children back to the nursery or back to the seat.  Now our second appeal is – and there’ll be some of you fathers and mothers who also have a child between the ages of seven and twelve.  If you have a child within the ages of seven and twelve, you bring the child with you and come and stand down here by me.  If you have a child of the ages of seven and twelve, you come and bring the child, and stand by me.

Now, Gary, may we sing again?  A child of the age of seven and twelve.

 

Silent night, holy night,

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin, mother and Child.

Holy Infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

 

Silent night, holy night,

Shepherds quake at the sight;

Glory streams of heaven above,

Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia.

Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born!

["Silent Night, Holy Night"; Joseph Mohr]

 

Now, just so you touch the child, just be sure to touch the child in this prayer.  In a moment we’ll kneel, and I want you to put your arm around the child, or your head on the child, or just some way; but be sure to touch the child, or the children.  Now let us kneel in our prayer.

And our Lord, as we look upon these boys and girls, a little older, we remember that our precious Savior grew up in that carpenter’s shop in Nazareth.  And when He was twelve years of age, the age of some of these youngsters here, He was with His parents in the temple at Jerusalem; and every Sabbath day He was with them in the synagogue, listening to the Word of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit teaching and guiding Him into the work that He was to do to save us from our sins.  And our Lord, as You grew up as a child, so You understand all of the heartaches and the joys that these boys and girls know as they grow up in their Christian homes.  Now, Master, be good to them, take care of them, keep them strong and well, and speak to their hearts that they might find Thee as a personal Savior.  And then, Lord, when the time comes, may the father and mother bring the child to the pastor, and say, "My little boy, my little girl has felt the moving Spirit of Jesus in his heart, in her heart, and wants to give life publicly in faith to Thee."  Oh happy day! Glorious day! when our children come to know Jesus as a Savior.  Bless Thou the father and the mother in the home in which the child grows up; and for them we shall thank Thee forever.  In Thy dear name, amen.

Thank you, sweet.  And you all may go back to your seats.  And now we have one other invitation:  sometimes a teenager may look upon himself as being somewhat removed and apart from his father and mother, but oh! we need our Christian parents more when we are teenagers than at any other time in our lives.  So, if you are a teenager, I want you to come down here and stand by me with your father and with your mother.  All the teenagers in the house, you come down with your father and mother and stand by me; all of our teenagers.

You’ve been here three times. I think that’s glorious, just wonderful, just wonderful.  One of our sweet couples was saying, "Pastor, we’ve bowed down here all three times."  That’s great!  Rearing the children in the love and nurture of the Lord.

Our teenagers – isn’t this a blessed sight?  Oh, our youngsters mean so much, so very, very much!  If you are a teenager, and if your parents are not here, then your grandparents, because I want us all to kneel down here together in this dedication to the Lord.  All of our teenagers, I want you to come; all of our teenagers.  I had no idea there were so many of our teenagers here in the service tonight.  Oh, it is blessed!  It is wonderful.  This is our immediate church of tomorrow.  It is glorious!  It is glorious!

Now, we’re very crowded together, I know, but insofar as we can, let’s all kneel together.  And as you kneel, as you kneel, put your hand on the head of the child, or put your arms around them; and we’re going to have a prayer of dedication and consecration together.  All right.

And our blessed Savior, as the years passed the little Baby Jesus grew to be a child, and then a young man in His teens, working there in the carpenter’s shop.  And there are not any problems of our teenagers that our Lord Jesus doesn’t know all about.  He also was a teenager; had the frustrations and all of the problems that assail our boys and our girls, these young men and women.  And our Lord, in this tragic day in which our teenagers now live, O precious Savior, guide and help them.  They are assailed on every side.  O God in heaven, how we pray that the Spirit of Jesus will see them through, will bless and direct them, that God will keep them from all of those habits that can destroy their lives.  And there are so many of them, and the world offers it to them, to sell it to them for a profit; and so many of our teenagers fall into those tragic ways.  Dear God, deliver our boys and girls from any such catastrophic habit as shall slowly but surely waste away and erode out their moral life and their physical strength.  Lord, may our teenagers be tall and straight, and sun-crowned; and may they love God, and place Jesus first in their lives.  Then as the father and the mother looks upon them, may they do it with infinite pride, with infinite joy.  O Lord God, help us and bless us, as in the home we see these boys and girls turn into young men and women.  And may they be a joy and an honor to their parents, as they walk in the light of the blessing of the God our Savior, who loved us and gave Himself for us.  In Thy precious name, amen.

And thank you, sweet, dear families.  The Lord bless and keep you, every one.

Now, Gary, we’re going to sing a hymn of appeal.  And while we sing the hymn of appeal, somebody you to give himself in trust to the Lord Jesus, somebody to put his life here in the fellowship of this dear church, somebody you who’d like to re-give himself to the Lord, you’d just like to do it, as the Spirit of Christ shall speak to your heart, make the decision now, and come.  For any reason that God would lead you to respond tonight, do it.  "I want to take Jesus as my Savior," or, "I want to be baptized," or, "I want to put my life in the church," or, "I’d just like to tell Jesus all over again how much I praise His name for His wonderful goodness to me."  If God puts it in your heart to respond, do it now.  Make it now, come now, while we stand and while we sing.