Years ago, David McCasland wrote an interesting item for the publication Our Daily Bread: “After someone stole a valuable ceramic figurine of Baby Jesus from a nativity scene in Wellington, Florida, officials took action to keep thieves from succeeding again. An Associated Press report described how they placed a GPS tracking device inside the replacement figurine. When Baby Jesus disappeared again the next Christmas, sheriff’s deputies were led by the signal to the thief’s apartment.”
I think that many of us need a spiritual GPS to find Jesus once again, especially during this Christmas season. The events of the season, ranging from Black Friday to an overabundance of Christmas parties, tend to pull us away from the real reason of our celebration: Jesus.
Think about the first words out of the shepherds’ mouths after the announcement of Christ’s birth had been made (Luke 2:15). They didn’t blabber about the vision of the angels. They didn’t holler about the heavenly glow lighting up the countryside. Their minds were focused on the Messiah:
“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.”
They were shepherds – simple folk with a hard-weather job to do. They faced rain and cold, wild beasts and rough terrain. They knew what to do in order to do their job well. And that’s the same kind of attitude they took when they heard the proclamation: focus on the Savior.
What will you be doing this season? We often celebrate Jesus’ birthday by … well, by celebrating everything except for Him.
It reminds me of one of my students of years ago – I’ll call her Sara – who invited her entire class to her home for her birthday party. On the day of the celebration, about half of all of those invited actually showed up. They came in without presents, took the cake and turned on the television, chatting away happily.
With each other.
Completely ignoring Sara.
I was told that after an hour, Sara quietly left the room, went upstairs to her own bedroom and locked the door. Everybody wanted Sara’s party. Nobody cared about Sara.
When I remember this heartbreaking story, I am reminded of how we often do the same thing to Jesus on an annual basis. We want to celebrate Jesus’ party.
We just don’t want to celebrate Jesus Himself.
“The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.” – Oswald Chambers