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Not Just the Reason for the Season

The missing Jesus figure in her nativity set is a wake-up call for her prayer life.

By Rebecca Barlow Jordan, Greenville, Texas

As appeared in

They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Luke 2:16 (NLT)

One Christmas I stepped back and looked at the tree in our living room. I had finished the simple decorations, and the lights, tinsel, and ornaments looked balanced and beautiful. The stockings were hung by the fireplace with care, and festive music boxes adorned the mantle.

On one side of the fireplace sat the wise men: three, crudely crafted coke bottles that had been sprayed and glued with fabric and jewelry years earlier by my children’s hands to resemble the Magi. But as I glanced at the miniature, ivory figures grouped together on the middle of the hearth, I noticed something missing in the small nativity set. I counted shepherds, Mary and Joseph, sheep, a cow or two, camels, a smaller set of wise men, an angel, the manger, and some straw.

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The baby Jesus! Where was Jesus? I searched back through the original box, but found nothing.

Somehow, we had lost Jesus. It wasn’t until after Christmas was over, and I was putting things away, that I saw something shiny at the bottom of another Christmas box.

I removed the wad of paper partially hiding the object, and there lay the baby Jesus! How easy it is to “lose” Jesus in the trappings of busy lifestyles, misplaced priorities, and forgotten boxes in our lives.

Christmas is not the only time we forget the most important part of life’s celebration: Jesus.

Without meaning to, we can hide His witness through fear of embarrassment or ignore the most important things in life through simple negligence–any time of year.

That Christmas was a whispered wake-up call to me that Jesus is not only the reason for the season; He is the reason for every day of my life! For me, without Jesus there would be no life, no joy, no peace, and no celebration.

Faith step: Write a letter to Jesus, thanking Him for what He means to you throughout the year. How can you give Him first place in your life this year?