In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle of how we do Christmas, quite often the why of Christmas gets lost. My dad wrote a great article for his weekly column on how easy it is to lose Jesus, not only from a children’s play set, but also as the focus of the season.
by Pastor Bill Glasspell
Jesus – Not Found
It was one of those moments when a child says something very profound. Sandra and I were visiting with two of our grandsons, Payton and Devin, who had just celebrated their fourth and second birthdays respectively. They were in the playroom playing with a Fisher Price nativity set that included the stable, a manger, straw, animals, shepherds and, of course, Mary and Joseph. Devin asked his brother, “Where Jesus?” To which Payton responded, “Jesus – not found.” And, sure enough, Jesus was no where to be seen.
Sandra encouraged them to look for Jesus and they eagerly began the search. They looked all through their toys; Jesus could not be found. They looked around the TV and other media outlets; Jesus could not be found. Under the couch, chairs and tables; Jesus could not be found. The search expanded to the rest of the house; Jesus – not found.
About this time I began to think I should write the script for a Christmas pageant, “JESUS – NOT FOUND!” I was sure that it would not be hard to come up with places where Jesus could not be found. Clearly it is difficult to find Jesus amid all the toys and gifts that fill the stores and shops at this time of year. The push to have all the latest media gadgets, technology, and information is a passion in our society, but there is no push to find Jesus in any of it. Our schools once proclaimed the spirit of Christmas and the One who proclaimed peace to the world, but strife has silenced those songs and Jesus, most certainly, cannot be found in our schools while witches and goblins and ghouls abound. We most certainly would not want to warp or scare these delicate young minds with the message of One who called on others to love each other instead of bullying them, would we?
What happens if we take our eyes off the public venues and focus into our homes? I wonder, will Jesus be found there this Christmas. Will the talk around our tables have any connection to the birth of the One we are supposed to celebrate or will it be all about our jobs and trips and plans for the New Year? I don’t want to diminish the importance of family, but even family can hide the Christ of Christmas and Jesus may not be found there.
And what about our churches, will Jesus be found there? It has become popular to talk around Jesus instead of about Him. We talk about wise men, and shepherds, and kings, and priests, and, of course, Mary and Joseph. We have all kinds of plays and pageants and Christmas concerts but surprisingly, Jesus has only a bit part.
What about you? Is Jesus missing in your life? When you stand before God will the report be, “Jesus – not found.” The Bible says, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy.4:29. “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6. This Christmas don’t leave Jesus out of the picture, it is not complete without Him. Remember He came with the announcement, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
I hope this past week has been challenging and thought provoking as we’ve looked at how to have an Intentional Christmas. I hope your Christmas holidays are wonderful and exciting. I’d prefer my holidays to be less exciting…hopefully that means my sewing machine will fix itself overnight so that I can finish the boys’ aprons and car play mats. Oh, the excitement of the holidays.