Monday, December 21, 2009

Where is Jesus?

Here’s a note from Karen, a women’s ministries staffer out east where my 10- and 7-year-old grandchildren attend church. My daughter Jennifer left town to stay with a friend in the final stage of cancer, and Karen helped out by watching the girls one morning. It speaks for itself.

“I spent Saturday morning with Emma & Lillian. Jennifer was in AL visiting Christy and Phil had a business meeting, so I was enlisted to watch the girls. After being soundly beaten in Wii, I decided to take them to the mall to see if we could find Jesus anywhere. All we could find were two stores that sold nativity ornaments (which we had to search for amongst the millions of Santas, snowmen and reindeer).

“We boldly asked the lady in the puzzle store if Jesus was in the store and she had to search hard to find a 1000 piece puzzle of the last supper. Finding it impossible to find Jesus, we searched just for the word ‘Christmas.’ Only one store had the word in their promos. To say the least, we were bummed. On the way home, Lillian found 23 Santas, a couple dozen lit up reindeer and lots more inappropriate indications of the reason for the season. Finally, we saw a Jesus banner hanging from a house, and a plastic Mary and Joseph adoring a plastic Jesus. The girls concluded that people were missing the point of Christmas. It was a big learning experience for all of us. It was sad not to find Jesus in Christmas. Hope your Christmas overflows with Jesus. – Karen”

Now we know it’s not the retailer’s job to tell the Christmas story, and we may not be able to change the world’s mind about how to celebrate Christmas, but we can introduce the world to Jesus. For starters, someone gave me an “It’s ok. Wish me a Merry Christmas!” button to wear! It’s ok not to, also, or to not put Christmas on your store signs. It is interesting, though, that Christmas is about the birth of Christ…whether you believe He is the Savior of the world or not. Lots of people cash in on the merriment of Christmas cheer, even though they miss the message for one reason or another. Can you celebrate without Him? Sure…but then you’re not celebrating Christmas!

I don’t know if He’s in your mall or your mail, on your coat, in your spouse, or on your City Hall lawn. The question is, is He at your house? I just looked for Jesus in my own home, like Emma and Lillian looked for Him at the mall. In a few days I'll tell you what I found. Meanwhile, take a look around. Is He there?

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