By the time you read this you’ll have been in the attic several times to retrieve your Christmas decorations. The tree will be trimmed, the lights hung…everything will be just right for your celebration.
At my house we have a yearly tradition around Christmas time. It’s the tradition of finding Jesus. I know, that sounds very spiritual, doesn’t it? But I don’t mean it in the spiritual sense. I mean, literally finding Baby Jesus.
Like many of you we have a nativity scene we dust off and display prominently every year. My kids loved it. When they were little I watched Mary and Joseph ride into Bethlehem in a monster truck. One year a dinosaur attacked and wreaked havoc on the silent night. I’ve watched my daughter hold and care for the baby Jesus. That nativity scene is a part of our Christmas.
But annually, without fail it seemed, Baby Jesus was missing! And so the search and rescue mission began. Couch cushions were removed, toy boxes were rummaged through. We stopped at nothing until that little baby was in the manger at the center of the crèche.
Why go to the trouble? Because that’s the heart of the celebration of Christmas! I’m a pastor so it’s part of the “pastor’s code” to tell you that Jesus should be center stage all year long…but if that’s not the case in your life you can do it at Christmas (Easter, too…don’t forget Easter)!
Look at a nativity scene. You’ll see humble shepherds. You’ll see exotic wise men. You’ll see farm animals. You’ll see the holy couple. And you’ll see angels all gathered around Jesus. Even the stars of the Milky Way were focused on the baby that night.
It was a pretty significant night. It was the night that split B.C. and A.D. It was the night that ended the “old” covenant and kicked off the “new.” It was the night God spoke his “Word” of wisdom to the world. It was the dark night in which God sent his people light.
Most of all it was the night that God proved once and for all his love—he sent his very own son.
This season, amid the fun and frivolity as you set up your own nativity scene, take note of the placement of Jesus. Does he have the same central place in your heart? If not it’s not too late to place him there. We’ll save a seat for you in church this season!
Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch, which meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit www.NewLifeDenton.org for more information. Join us for our sermon series, Believe, every Sunday through December 24.