As we walked into my husband’s work Christmas party we saw a jumping castle, a jumbo slide, a giant teacup ride, platters of food circulating through the crowd, and a very special seat with plush red cushions and a red carpet leading up to it. The excitement was thick as we surveyed the amazing event and plotted our path. We discussed what activities would be best to try to do before the arrival of Santa with his sack full of presents.
“But where is baby Jesus?” piped up our three year old.
“Yes. Good question.” It was a moment for a shared smile over the heads of the kids. But they were all looking up into our knowing smile, so we explained again that Jesus lives in our hearts and we take Jesus with us wherever we go. So even if Jesus hadn’t been invited to this party when we arrived we brought the one whose birthday party it was with us.
I felt a strange sadness that at this time of year which should be whispering his name in excitement and singing it out with joy and relief, there was a part of me which was embarrassed to hear his name spoken so boldly by our son. And a raw gladness that he didn’t have the social graces to know not to mention such a powerful word at a social event not connected to church.
As we go about celebrating Christmas this year, let’s join our kids in asking “but where is baby Jesus?”
“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:16-18