My husband and I started our Christmas planning this week. We thought it was about time given it is only 5 weeks and a few days away.
The stores have been stocked since September and the reminders are starting to hit our email inbox – online stores asking us to shop again.
One of our favorite things to do is to decorate our home. We decided this year we would go big and have a company hang our lights. We have a steep roof pitch and neither of us wanted to risk a fall or a broken something – just easier to have the professionals tackle it.
My husband called around and you probably already know this – it is EXPENSIVE! They try to soften the blow by telling you that subsequent years are cheaper but we decided to do it ourselves.
So, I’ve had this bright idea for a few years to build a manger. I love the manger scene. During the Christmas season, I have them scattered all around the house. Some are rustic – hand-carved, others are intricate sculptures but all tell the story of our Savior’s birth.
Well, I convinced my husband to build a manger. Honestly, it didn’t take much arm-twisting. He likes a challenge.
We collected some scrap lumber from a nearby construction site and we built a manger. I have to admit it turned out pretty nice, life-size, sturdy, worthy of hay, and…
Oh, what am I going to put in this manger? I hadn’t thought it through to that level. So, of course, I started looking online for a baby Jesus – Amazon, Hallmark, Hobby Lobby and then I came across the most interesting ad. The ad boasted,
Baby Jesus on Demand!
I clicked the link and sure enough, there He was lying innocently on the page. The ad went on to say I could have Him here in just a day – Jesus on DEMAND today.
I wonder if that isn’t how we think of Jesus. His sole purpose, to respond instantly to our requests. On-call Jesus, at the snap of our fingers.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I get comfortable. If honest, I get complacent going about my business and pushing Jesus to the back of my mind, my heart, my attention. But when life gets complicated or my plans fail then I want Jesus to show up now, help me now – at my disposal.
During the holiday season, the pressures to do more, buy more, visit more, attend more, can press Jesus to the margins of our hearts. He no longer is the focal point of the celebration season but a mere decoration – placed in the manger neatly displayed on the entryway table.
What would happen if this Christmas we invite Jesus to be the center of our celebration? What if we slowed down this season and spent time with King Jesus. And perhaps after December 25 comes and goes, we ask Him to stay the focal point of our lives?
James 4:7-8a reminds us,
(7) So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (8) And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you.
As you prepare for this celebration season, I encourage you to draw near to the most precious gift you will ever receive, Jesus. Please don’t push Him to the periphery of your mind but invite Him near.
He waits for you.
He longs for a relationship. He loves you!