Who Stole Baby Jesus?

And they came with haste & found Mary & Joseph & the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  Luke 2:16-17

The happiest season of all & the busiest time of the year collide every December.  I’m not sure how the two are actually related because usually when I am busy, I am far from happy & when I am happy, well I’m generally lying on a beach.  So when all the festivities of Christmas began to weigh me down & I found myself complaining to my closest confidants how much I had to do, I realized baby Jesus had gone missing. 

You see, years ago my mom created a game one Christmas for the grandkids to play.  The game was called “who stole baby Jesus?”  There were 4 culprits & participants had to determine if the Grinch, Santa Clause, Charlie Brown or Frosty the Snowman were guilty.  She would take the little baby Jesus from her nativity set & hide Him somewhere in the house among the other Christmas decorations.  Everyone would set out with vigor & clues in hand to find Him.

When I realized, someone had stolen baby Jesus out of my sights during this season, I began to look around & noticed I was not the only one on the search to find Him.  You can see it on the faces of the annoyed patrons with scowling looks, maneuvering shopping baskets down aisles.  Once you get in line to pay, the heavy sighs & checking watches tells you all you need to know.  Everyone is in a hurry & has too much on their list to get done.   Not to mention full parking lots & short tempers evident from the car horns honking.   

We all fall victim to the weight of the “happiest season of all”.  But why?  Do we let some sneaky Santa steal the joy of baby Jesus or do we allow the peer pressure of it all to make us crazy.  Maybe its one too many Christmas parties we must attend or night after night of children’s school performances that wear us down.  Possibly for you, it’s more than just a long to-do list, but instead a difficult memory during this time of year.  Maybe the holidays bring a pain in the depth of your soul that Christmas lights & glitter cannot cure.

Since day-to-day activities are sometimes overwhelming & emotional reactions are volatile at best, the only way for us to find baby Jesus in the midst of Christmas chaos is to remember the penetrating truth of Christmas time comes only once a year.  If we can bring ourselves to realize this time of year brings an opportunity, like no other, to share the love of Jesus with the world we will be less apt to lose sight of Him.  Unlike any other holiday or event throughout the year, people are open to seeing Christ but believers must be His reflection. 

Here are some suggestions for keeping Jesus in sight:

Remember 'Jesus is the reason' ~ I know it’s an old cliché, but isn’t it true?  Jesus is the reason I not only exist but also thrive.  Keeping my eyes on Him, helps to keep me focused on the meaning of life.  My main purpose is to walk a life that looks like Him & points others to Christ.  When I let His light shine brighter than the lights on the tree, I can take a deep breath & know this season is temporary but eternity isn’t, so I want my attitude & joy to show the world that I am celebrating a Reason, not just a season. {1 Peter 3:15-16}

Give because I value others, not because it’s an obligation ~ This one can be hard.  In fact, I struggled with it just last week when I was packaging gifts for my daughter’s teachers.  I honestly had to stop & think twice about giving a gift to a teacher that has been less than awesome.  But the Spirit gave me a little nudge to stop thinking negatively & see this person as He sees them, because, after all, I am often less than awesome.  Remember giving, doesn’t have to be monetary.  Hold the door, smile, and ask people if they need your help.  Looks around, needs are everywhere that can be met without money.  Value people the way Jesus does & the rest of life will fall into place. {Isaiah 32:8, 2 Corinthians 9:5-8}

Party like there’s no tomorrow ~ I know this one doesn’t seem very holy, but think about it.  Living life to its fullest is what Jesus offers us when He says He came to give us life more abundantly.  Live in the moment of the party, or the production, or the lunch or the grocery line.  I have had some of my most memorable moments by simply being aware of God’s presence with me in line at the store.  Trust me, if you look for Him to move & use you in the process, life will not be boring & will be more than abundant.  {John 10:10}

This holiday season, my prayer for us all is that we will stare at the baby in the manger & realize our purpose, fulfillment & joy are wrapped up in His sacrifice for our eternal life in Heaven.  Until then, staring at the One who came to give us abundant life will keep us from looking like the Grinch.

Ask the Lord today, where you can find more joy this Holiday season.

Love, Cara