As I was moving one small crowd of tiny figures and beasts, something happened that seems to happen at least once every year. As I began to put every piece in place, it became obvious that one member was missing.
(Not that all my scenes have all the expected characters! One set has just two wise men, and the shepherd from another has gone AWOL. And though sweet memories make every one precious to me, none of the sets are of great monetary value. There’s been a lot of gluing through the years, and a few of the animals are permanently disabled, sans ears, sans horns.)
I’ve lost Jesus-
the centered Peace of the season…
I’ve left Him behind somewhere.
He seemed to be waiting for me.
If only it could be so simple in our hurry-up, do-it-all, and do-it-right western holiday season.
The time of year supposedly centered on celebrating the birth of Jesus is overtaking our lives like a flash flood rising;
we’re moving faster than the speed of life,
and no one seems to notice that Jesus has left the house…
or, more accurately that we have hustled off and left Him behind.
Suddenly, one way or another, it dawns on us, that we've lost the centerpiece, the Centered Peace, and we have no idea where He is, where we are.
And we wonder if we can find our way back.
Maybe it's not so hard after all.
Maybe when I realize I’ve lost Jesus, again, I simply need to turn back, again, to where I’ve seen Him last…
In the grateful face of one who needed what I offered.
In the encouraging words of a friend.
In that pause in my path where the clutter swirled around me and I rushed off without Him.
It has happened to me so often, this losing track of Jesus…
The wandering back,
the long pause,
And then, the joyful discovery that unlike my ceramic Mangerscene Jesus,
the living One is not waiting “back there” for me to find my way to Him.
He is, in fact, in search of me.
It is His whisper of my name
that calls me back,
That draws me to the holy in the holiday.
I find that I am back beside The Mangerscene,
and I am humming the first little Christmas song I ever learned, Away in a Manger.
These simple words will be all the prayer I need tonight…
I ask Thee to stay close by me forever,
and love me I pray…”
Amen. and Amen.