In the madness that can be the Christmas season, we act as though we could lose Jesus. If everything isn’t prepared just right, if the gifts aren’t bought, if the family doesn’t look just right, if the manger isn’t just so…everything will be ruined. Jesus will be lost and it’ll be another year before we can try again to welcome him.
Let me tell you a story…
My sister’s children have a Playmobil nativity set. It’s provided hours of entertainment over the years. As a family, we’ve enjoyed talking about the shepherds, having the wisemen follow the star, putting Mary and Joseph in just the right position, and making sure the angel went to tell the news. There’s only problem… their Jesus figurine has been gone for at least four years.
The year we lost Jesus, everyone tore the house apart- we checked under furniture, in corners, in the Christmas tree, we even looked in the vacuum bag to make sure that he hadn’t been sucked up. That year, I found an old, yellow Lego man at my parent’s house that I thought might serve as a stand-in. I was told pretty quickly by the girls that he was not Jesus. For months after Christmas, we keep up the search. After all, what good is the Christmas story without baby Jesus?
Since that great and terrible event, their family has moved houses, and put up and taken down decorations (and nativities) enough times that we’d given up on Playmobil Jesus. Long ago, my sister called the company seeking a replacement- it turns out that you can’t buy Jesus (solo) either. And every year when the set comes out, the girls tell the story- not just the story of Christmas, the story of how we lost Jesus…
Imagine my surprise when the above photo was texted to me last week with the line, “FOUND JESUS!!!!!!!!” As my sister cleaned out her old sofa before donating it to Habitat, she found him. Jesus had fallen deep into the sofa- had survived a move, and for four years, he’d been right there, sitting in the living room- with them all along. In the hustle and bustle of living, even without their knowing it, Playmobil Jesus had been right by their side– in the middle of their home, year in and year out.
That plastic Jesus taught me more than I ever thought he could!
Jesus Christ, came as one of us, for all of us. He, (yes, like Playmobil Jesus) is in the middle of our homes and the midst of our lives already. Whether we know it or not, he’s with us. Whether things are perfectly ready or not, He’s been born. No matter what our Christmas looks like, we have a God in Jesus who lived and died, and rose again for us. Today we await the One whose coming is certain!
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” ~Luke 2:10-11