Two Christmas’s ago, my family had quite a dilemma when it came time to decorate our home for the holidays. Sure, the tree trimming went smoothly. Garlands and an assortment of Santa trinkets were placed with ease. Everything looked fabulous and festive and it really putting us in the holiday spirit.
Then we pulled our Nativity set from the storage container, and not just any Nativity set. No, this one had graced our holiday décor for the past twenty years. A gift from my dear friend Christy Allen that we truly treasure. The Lowe family holiday décor wouldn’t be complete without it. We pulled each individual piece from the container and began setting up the display, only to discover the most important figure to be missing.
We checked a few other containers, thinking surely he would turn up, but Baby Jesus was nowhere to be found. The kids and I decided that was not a good thing to begin the Christmas season without Christ. The searching continued to no avail. With much reluctance, I decided we shouldn’t display the Nativity without Baby Jesus and was prepared to pack it away. That idea didn’t go over well with Nate and Lydia, so my clever daughter searched through her babies and found a tiny frizzy-headed doll that could fit inside the display although it looked like a creepy giant compared to the other figurines. Cracking up, we stood back, eyeing the odd doll, knowing good and well that simply would not do.
The search resumed. Did we find Baby Jesus this round?
We laughed the situation off at first, teasing each other about how awful we were for losing Baby Jesus. Surely, we were the worst Christians ever. Then we cracked on the others on display and how it was the Lowe Luck (aka No Luck) to lose Jesus of all things. Seriously, why not one of the Wisemen, considering there were plenty of them. Or one of the animals. No one would miss one less sheep…
The funny eventually wore off when it became apparent that we had truly lost an important part of our Christmas. Frowns and slouching shoulders, we grew pretty frustrated pretty fast. Moving on to work on another decoration project, I went back to a container I’d already plundered through several times that evening to retrieve a spool of ribbon. Lo and behold, guess who was underneath it?
Yep. Baby Jesus had been right there with us the entire time. We were not paying close enough attention to notice his presence. Saying nothing, I placed the baby in his rightful spot, and the relief on my family’s face when they realized Jesus had been found was priceless.
I share this funny story for a serious reason, because, two things gave me pause that evening.
One: Christmas would not exist without that monumental moment captured by Nativity scene. All the tree trimmings and décor hold no worth, no meaning, no relevance without Baby Jesus. He is the reason for the season. Period. And Praise him for it! Seriously, y’all, it’s a good thing!
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
Two: Jesus is there even when we aren’t paying attention. The moment we accept the gift of salvation from Jesus, the gift of his presence is everlasting. He’s promised he won’t ever rescind his gift as long as we accept it.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
I pray your holiday season is filled with the Holy Spirit which is the true holiday spirit.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year,