Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19
It is easy to gloss over the quaint little word. Yet it is invested with subtle authority and liberally sprinkled throughout the Bible. It occurs well over 100 times in Genesis, the Book of Origins. In Revelation – the account of Christ’s unveiling at the culmination of history – the word lends special urgency to the subject matter. “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him…” (1:7). “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done…” (22:12). The word “behold” sounds boring to the modern ear. Has it lost its ancient arresting power because our powers of contemplation and discernment are no longer being cultivated?
In our informal age we use the word “hey” when we want someone’s attention. On New Year’s Day it may be prudent not to test its clout on the fanatic glued to the plasma TV. Some doubt that even God would want to reign on our parade or play the Game Changer while we are high on pigskin and junk food. Today is good old Couch Potato Day and our intentional Covenant with Complacency rules supreme. The rat race will shortly resume; the rutted road of daily work and worry will have us sober soon enough. (Part 1 of 2)
Comment: As Swiss newcomers to LA, the lure of Rose Parade and football was lost on us. In fact, we didn’t own a TV for the first 13 years of our marriage. Our worst New Year’s Day was our first. We drove along the coast until hunger pangs made us look for an open restaurant and found none. A frozen banana saved us from starvation, but gave us the worst case of diarrhea that night. Our best celebration happened on January 1,1968. We surprised our Hollywood friends with an invitation to an Open House in Granada Hills. Walls were in, and the 2,400 square feet of our brand-new house elicited plenty of oohs and aahs. A month later, it was complete with carpeting, drapes, and lawns out front. I love my home more than ever and occasionally shock someone by divulging the price we paid for it – a whopping $38,500! I suffered some shocks myself once I started cooking great meals for large gatherings of guests on New Year’s Eve. One dad offered to watch the kids and let them gouge holes in a wall. Then there was the modest neighbor who showed up looking like a floozy in cheapy hot pants. Or take the guy who appeared to be drunk, but later blamed the vasectomy he just had for his unsteady gait. These days I turn up the TV to muffle the sound of fireworks exploding for hours all over my neighborhood. If the cat in my lap could talk, she’d probably say, “Hey, knock it off!”