The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 12/17

Posted on | December 17, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 12/17

Scripture reading: Isaiah 42:5–7

Through the Stable Door

Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:9)


In a famous essay, C. S. Lewis describes what happened to him one afternoon in his backyard when he stepped into his tool shed. Through a crack in the top of the door a sunbeam was shining into the darkness.  For a moment, all he could see was the beam of light itself and specks of dust floating in it. Everything else in the shed was pitch black. But then Lewis positioned himself so that he could look along the beam rather than at it. Suddenly, everything changed!

I saw no tool shed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences. (“Meditation in a Toolshed” from God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics)

For Lewis it was a moment of epiphany. The beam of light against the darkness helped him to better understand that truth was something to be experienced not just observed. Light may be blinding and hard to understand, but when one steps into it, it enables one to see everything else! Light is something to see with, not something to look at.

When seeking truth, both observation and experience are necessary. Lewis realized that finding truth required more than observing facts; these facts had to be embraced and experienced! When the seeker steps into the reality he is observing, he begins to see things never before imagined! From the outside he is a detached observer, but from the inside he is a participant in a new reality. Lewis discovered that when he looked through the light rather than just at it, he was able to discern things ninety million miles away.

This Christmas, many will look at the manger where Jesus was born. Standing outside, they will see the shepherds, Joseph and Mary, and of course, the baby. For many, this view of Christmas is all they will see and experience. Indeed, the light is so bright in the stable it creates feelings of comfort and joy in and of itself. But

for others, such a perspective on Christmas will not be enough. They will step into the drama and look not just at the event but through it. These people will not only observe Christmas, they will experience it!

What about you? Are you observing the holiday or experiencing it? Don’t just look at the manger. Step inside. You’ll discover that the stable is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside! Now, look along the beam. If you look closely, you can see the face of God!


In your light we see light.

—Psalm 36:9 (NIV)


point to ponder  •  Scripture is not something just to be looked at but to be looked through.

prayer focus Those who are mere spectators of the Christmas story, that hearts would be opened to the One who brings hope.


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