It’s that time of year again. Time to put Jesus in a box. Pluck him off the shelf and swaddle him in tissue paper and stash him in the basement until next year.
Christmas is over, right? And this final blog post is kinda late, right?
Reason #1: I had the stomach flu.
Reason #2: I meant it to be “late”.
If the 25th marks the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth, he’s a whopping 4 days old and now it’s kind of like… party’s over. Thanks for coming. Now everyone go home.
Here’s the thing: babies grow. And grow and keep growing and walk and talk and go on to do amazing things and if you’re a parent, you know that you don ‘t stop marveling at your baby when they hit the four day mark. Hardly. The newborn stage with my sweet little son years ago is a bit of a blur; it got better and better from there.
It’s great to celebrate Jesus’ birth. But now that Christmas is over, and it was a good Christmas (stomach flu notwithstanding) and we had lots of fun and saw lots of family and I intentionally sought His presence in the midst of the craziness, I still feel that little let down thing. Nothing major. Only that vague… ho hum…. sigh… ‘cuz it’s all over and now I have to undecorate the tree and unhang the stockings. Sigh.
It’s wonderful to celebrate the birth of Christ. Truly. But if we stop there, if we leave him as a baby, we’ve missed it. Missed Him. He didn’t come merely to be a sweet little baby; he came to do his Father’s will. Even to death. Even to resurrection. So don’t leave him lying in the manger; he grew. Grow with him. Stay with Him.
So. Keep pondering. Things like this, when he’s twelve:
Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man. (NSV Luke 2: 52)
Jesus: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; neither will anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.” (John 10)
“When Jesus saw the large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick…” (Matthew 14:14)
There’s much to ponder. So don’t pack Him in a box. Keep Him out in the open, before your eyes . See what he did. Listen to what he said. Keep your mind open and your heart soft. Because his birth—as marvelous as it is—is just the beginning.
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