I lost Jesus recently and didn’t realize I’d lost him until I started looking for Him. How could I lose Jesus? Particularly in December, it’s difficult for me to lose Jesus because during this month because I do a series in my blogs and YouTube channel related to finding Jesus. I started doing this series over five years ago when I stole Jesus from our church’s manger scene and took pictures of Him in creative places. Such creative places have included:
- propping Jesus up on my stove (cooking with Jesus),
- putting Jesus on a xerox machine (living to copy Jesus),
- setting Him next to the Emergency Room sign (Jesus does crisis),
- putting Jesus’ hands on the steering wheel in my car (Jesus take the wheel) – my all-time fav.
Clearly, I have lots of fun doing this series and I love that we can enjoy Jesus while still experiencing Him in meaningful ways in our daily living. I also think it’s important to keep focused on Jesus in the midst of the festivities and busyness of Christmas – Jesus being central to “Christ”mas.
So this year, I was very distraught when I couldn’t find Jesus. I thought I’d tucked Him into a safe place last year when our manger scene was packed away after Christmas. But alas, when I went to find Him for this year’s series, He was missing! I sent out an urgent email to our church team and office, asking if anyone knew where Jesus was and unfortunately, everyone thought I’d stashed Him somewhere safe for the year, to be brought out for Christmas.
These events have me thinking about how this year has been unique like no other year. We’ve gone through economic, political, social, and medical turmoil of epic proportions. And maybe when I lost Jesus, it was a helpful reminder to me to keep my attention on Jesus regardless of what’s happening in my life or in the world around me. Even more so, I need to stay focused on Jesus throughout the year and not only during my Christmas series.
Indeed, let’s keep Jesus integrated throughout our daily living (cooking, working, studying, running errands, in quarantine, house cleaning, laundry, Zoom connecting, etc). And like the Jesus on the Xerox machine, we can endeavor to be like Jesus with help from Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we can find and experience Jesus in the midst of crisis, similar to Jesus at the Emergency Room (ER). Maybe most importantly, we can let Jesus steer our lives – Jesus take the wheel. May we allow Christmas to remind us to keep our focus on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
In finishing out this year and looking for Jesus to do my Christmas series, I checked out Hobby Lobby and Walmart, thinking that they might have manger scenes where I could find Jesus. But alas, my search was futile, except that a helpful employee suggested that I could by a baby doll and dress it up to look like Jesus. This suggestion started me thinking about the differences between my manger Jesus and a mass produced baby someone would buy as a Christmas present for their child.
As I thought about these differences, it was interesting to consider that my manger Jesus was polished, cherubic, perfect and somewhat pious for a newborn baby. In contrast, the mass produced baby that I bought (grasping at straws) wasn’t nearly as perfect nor polished, but very plastic and artificial. These observations have helped me remember that Jesus was born as a baby, a very messy process. He entered human existence just like you and me. Furthermore, He lived a very authentic life, not plastic nor contrived from human efforts, nor mass produced for impersonal consumption.
Let’s remember to keep our eyes on genuine Jesus and not only the Jesus that is commonly displayed in modern culture and religion.