“She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:7
It was ten AM Saturday. I was in my jammies, feeling unwell, and debating whether or not to return to bed. My husband, on the other hand, had been up for hours, ready to tackle everything on his to-do list.
He darted in and out of the living room, upstairs and down. He soon lugged our boxed, fake Christmas tree purchased the year before upstairs.
Inside, he found an unpleasant surprise. Face contorted, he held up a mass of tree limbs conglomerated by wiry netting gunk. Though we didn’t know what it was, that tree needed a replacement, and he was determined to buy one.
Forty-five minutes later, he returned from shopping with a four foot, pre-lit Christmas tree, which he promptly displayed near our window. Satisfied, he resumed his frantic pace, adding tinsel here and angels there. Mid-decorating, he stepped back to survey the mantel. “You think the nativity scene is good?” he asked.
Without looking, I replied, “Yep. It’s fine.” I paused. “Do you have baby Jesus?”
“No. I can’t find Him.”
No baby Jesus?
“Nope. I can’t find Jesus.”
God used this scenario to convict me of my cluttered heart. I had become like the innkeepers in Bethlehem, so busy with the hustle and bustle occurring all around me, I’d nearly missed the most important treasure of all—Jesus. Though I sang Christmas carols and acknowledged His birthday, I hadn’t truly made room for Him in my heart or home. I was giving Him leftovers—making Him fit, rather than giving Him the place of honor.
In our rushed, over-scheduled culture, it’s easy to allow parties and gift-giving to dominate our minds and hearts. But Jesus invites us to celebrate on a deeper level, with Him. That’s where the joy and peace of the season is found.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, releasing in the spring/summer of 2019. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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