I haven’t written in two days. I almost didn’t bother today either. This Christmas season has been flat for me and I only know part of the reason.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll delve into the other reasons but todays reflections are about Jesus. Or where is He?
The Bible tells us the wise men came from the East in response to the star and to their knowledge of Scriptures. They came looking for this King that star and the old writings foretold.
I guess this Christmas has me looking for Him too.
I’m flat. My Faith is flat. My past is so tangled and damaged by failures and those failures ate up so much time, that I can’t seem to get a jumpstart on the future. I feel like I’m going through the motions every day, checking my own wrist to feel for a pulse. Looking for signs of life on the terrain that represents the remains of my days on Earth.
Nothing about this point in life even vaguely resembles the picture I’d always had in my head. Nothing. The shapes, the faces, the sounds, the backdrop…none of it is what I thought it would be.
In the midst of this, I find myself exasperated by the Faith I’ve claimed for literally more than 80% of my entire life. Where is Jesus? Where is the baby, born King of Kings and Lord of Lords? All I see anymore are His self-appointed deputies, the Santa’s Helpers of the Christian world, controlling the community of Faith and setting the rules for believers. I can’t get past all their faces and all their individual screaming for attention and clamoring for fame, to see Jesus’ face. I can’t hear His voice over their caterwauling and shrill demands for adoration. This gang of skinny-jean-befitted posers who’ve not spent one long, arduous night in prayer. These Flockstars who care more that you put them in a Five-star hotel than they do for the people you brought them in to preach to.
Just as complicit in the secreting of Jesus are the publishing house presidents and the Christian Music label leadership who decide that terrible stories get told and dreadful music gets made and they care not a whit whether it actually ministers to anyone…it’s all about the bottom line.
They all stand there, blocking access to the baby in the dirty sheep trough. The catch their reflection in a mirror as they lisp: “None shall pass!”
Where is Jesus?
Where is the baby who came from Heaven for me? Where is He and what does He want from me? Why does He bless and prosper those charlatans and ignore others with some small measure of talent and a heart that aches in the night for a chance. A chance to tell their story…and His story.
I spent all this year trying to find my way back to this stable and when I got there…they’d stolen Him. I find myself so discouraged this year.
I have tried…dear Jesus I have tried to find you! I started watching my favorite Christmas movies two weeks sooner. I started listening to Christmas music sooner, I decorated sooner. I read. I wrote. But I feel like Christmas is in shambles. Like my little Nativity set is barren…the baby Jesus is missing from his manger.
I feel like I woke up in someone else’s house on Christmas morning, in someone else’s Christmas. On some other planet.
Maybe that’s why I –why we—get so sentimental at Christmas. Because each year removes us farther from the Christmas in our hearts. From the Jesus of that Christmas in our hearts. And we just want to get back.
I want to find that Jesus again. Before this Christmas is possible.
Jesus…where are you?