In Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, He provided instructions for Christian living. Jesus used the religious leaders of that day as an example of how not to act.
When giving to the needy, these leaders, or Pharisees, would announce their gift at the synagogues with trumpets. When praying, they loved to stand in the synagogues and street corners and babble on and on. When fasting, they would put ashes on their head and look somber, making their sacrifice obvious to all. The world was their stage and their performance made for a good theatrical production, but God knew each hypocritical heart.
Instead, Jesus taught to give in secret, that there is a time to pray privately with simplicity, and that we should fast so as not to be outwardly noticeable. He added, “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). Jesus honored those who served in an unseen manner.
I found it noteworthy that many times Jesus also referred to the Father as unseen. Think about it. When the sun rises, God doesn’t accompany it with angelic applause or announce it with, “Look at My amazing power, children!” He is usually quietly working behind the scenes. In fact, many times we have to make an effort to look for evidence of His Presence.
Perhaps during this season, we can be more aware of His unseen Presence among us as well as include an anonymous gift on our Christmas list.
May we give, pray, and fast in an unseen manner for an audience of One, knowing that the God who is unseen surely sees all.