Have you ever found yourself looking for Jesus in the things going on around you? I’ve felt that way several times over the last few weeks. Its Christmas and we should be able to see Jesus in Christmas, right? That’s not so anymore.
I looked for Him in the movie specials that were presented on TV. But they were about getting a dog (Charlie Brown) escaping from Hitler (Sound of Music), being Frozen (Disney), even Grandma getting Run Over by a Reindeer and many more too numerous to mention. Hmmm, how has Christmas become fun family movies, but no mention of Jesus.
Read MoreThen there are the Great Light Fights – only in America – where homes or neighborhoods see who can put up the most ostentatious displays of Christmas lights. Its all fun and clever. The lights often move in a synchronized dance. There are even lucrative monetary prizes, but it makes me wonder if the prize even covers the electric bill for these extravaganzas. There might be a nativity scene, or even a Christmas song in the display, but still, little about the “why” of Jesus.
Shopping malls have great sales and everyone is fighting to find a parking place. The stores are sparkling with Christmas Cheer. The evening news says that people are buying more this year than last. The merchants are giddy with their profits. But I think people feel it would be inappropriate to show Jesus in the midst of all these shiny things. It might be offensive to those who do not share our faith. So no Jesus at the shopping centers.
I feel like we are playing that game, “Where’s Elmo” only its “Where’s Jesus.” Oh we say “Merry Christmas” and “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. But the one who should be the center of our celebration is nowhere to be found in the midst of our busy days.
I just finished wrapping presents. Something I’m not good at and am mostly loath to do. I gave a lot of books this year — books that told stories about Jesus turning up in difficult places. Like in Iraq and Syria among Christians who had been part of the fabric of life since the time of the apostles. Jesus showed up when they needed Him.
And they REALLY needed Him when ISIS came to town. No calm scene in a manger here or Santa coming to town with a sleigh full of presents.
Maybe our problem is that we have so much. We have our traditions and are so self-sufficient we don’t need Him to show up. We are happy enough with our toys and shiny things that we have forgotten Who is really the center of it all.
It happens to me too often. I get all caught up in just the right shiny thing for each member of my family and forget that’s not what Christmas is all about. I think I’ll go get a cup of tea and take time to read Luke again. I need Jesus to show up at my Christmas. The shiny things just make me distracted and tired. Want to join me? Lets carve out the time to really slow down and contemplate the wonderful gift of Jesus. I want to see him afresh this Christmas.
May Jesus show up at your Christmas and mine as we search for him. He wants to be found because he loves us.