I love Christmas. I love the lights, the decorations, the anticipation of things to come. I love the preparation and excitement. I love seeing and hearing more of the message of Christ in the secular world – even if unintentional.

But this year something horrible happened. I was doing my normal Christmas decorating around the house and setting up the several nativities that I have and the unthinkable took place.  One of my beautiful nativities was missing baby Jesus.  I handle all of my nativities with great care and I love baby Jesus the most! How could this happen?  I went back to the packing box and sorted through every single rag and every piece of packing paper…feeling, gently unfolding, refolding.  No baby Jesus.  Well, maybe I ran out of room in that box when I was packing them up and put Him in another box. More searching, more sorting of paper, more mystery.  Every day for several days I searched for my missing baby Jesus.  He was nowhere to be found. You know, a nativity just doesn’t seem quite right without baby Jesus in it. I was genuinely heartbroken at the thought of having to put away this nativity for this year and just hope that I would find baby Jesus eventually and this beautiful nativity could be made whole again.

Then it happened, as it usually does in my life.  I realized that God was trying to teach me something very important.  After several days of searching, I finally paused long enough to feel the Holy Spirit whispering to me deep within my soul. “Kelly, what if the real Jesus was as important to you today as that little wooden baby Jesus?” I was shocked! I actually answered. “You know how important Jesus is to me. You know how committed I am to Him.  You know how much I love and honor Him. What do you mean?”

Then the lesson came.  It wasn’t harsh or hateful.  It wasn’t condemning or rude.  The lesson was filled with so much love and compassion that it made me ache inside. “You may have lost that little baby Jesus but you will never lose Me. Open your eyes Kelly.  I am right here. You have been so busy doing all the ‘Christmas’ things and looking for your little lost baby Jesus that you have lost sight of Me. This little wooden baby Jesus needs to stay lost this year to remind you that I am right here. See me. Feel my presence.  Search high and low for signs of my love. I am here.  I will never leave you. I will never disappear.  Keep looking, keep searching, keep longing to see Me.  I am yours and you are Mine. Just like that incomplete nativity, your life just isn’t quite right when you have not given Me a place to stay. Make room. I am Emmanuel, God with you!”

And so, once again, a valuable lesson from the One who love me the most.  And no, I have not found my little wooden baby Jesus,  But even it I did, you would not find Him in the nativity this year.  Every day I look at that nativity and remind myself to make room for my Messiah.

What about you?  Have you lost baby Jesus this year? Has He gone missing in the midst of all the Christmas activities? He is right there. Open your eyes my dear friends. The tiny baby, Light of the word, Giver of grace and mercy, Hope of mankind, Redeemer, Savior, Coming King….Jesus is Here; Emmanuel – God with Us!

May you seek and find Him today.