Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is He at Your House and Mine?

My husband decorates our fences with greens, ribbons and lights and the mantles with fresh greens and candles. I snip holly to tuck in hurricane lamps around candles and in table arrangements. It’s beautiful, but there’s no Jesus there. I looked further at tiny wooden painted carolers, reindeer, silver angels with halos, old family ornaments and trimmings. I leafed through tablecloths and napkins, Christmas plates with bells and holly, small trumpets whispering reminders of possible accompaniment when the angels sang that night over Bethlehem…but He wasn’t there either.

Then my eyes cast on the old wooden box full of cards coming in the mail. There He was, again and again, sent across the miles from people who know, worship and adore Him. There He was on the piano music stand in the music our family played in church on Christmas Eve with violins, oboe and piano: J.S. Bach’s “Beside Thy Cradle Here I Stand!” In my Christmas jewelry box I found Him in a manger on a lapel pin to wear on my jacket. My Christmas cookie cutters include a cross (totally Jesus!) and a church we paint with frosting each year. There’s Jesus, too, all year round, on a wall icon a nephew brought from Greece.

Last night I made sugar cookie shapes with Lew, 3 and James, 5. We rolled out the dough, side by side at the kitchen table, me with my marble rolling pin and them with their child-size rolling pins. There were stars, bells, angels, gingerbread man, and candy canes. No Jesus, until little Lewie handed me several globs of dough she’d rolled in her tiny hands to bake. “It’s Baby Jesus in His manger, Oma!” she explained. Indeed, there He was, head obviously rolled and placed in that hand-hewn shape. She painted Him white with a touch of yellow, perhaps His halo. I hadn’t even thought much about that until just now, writing this. There are several nativity scenes in their home. There are also lots of car, princess and baseball ornaments on their children’s trees. But Lew pulled out the real meaning of Christmas when she fashioned the Christ Child that night with her heart and her hands, and I almost missed it because it wasn’t the prettiest cookie shape we painted, or the most obvious.

Isn’t that how the Bible describes The Christ? He was not the most handsome of all men, not to be noticed. He wasn’t that obvious. But what He did and what He does for us is the sweetest message in all the world. It fills your life with hope and joy when you find Jesus in the Baby Boy. Then Jesus will live at your house and be shared there with all who come. Merry Christmas!

Luke 2: 8-15

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

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