I may have mentioned a few days ago that I have a fetish for Nativity scenes. I love them. I collect them, especially unique and different ones.
Last year for Christmas, my husband got me a hand-carved wooden set from India. It has a dozen little pieces to it. And they are tiny. (Those people are the size of my pinky finger.) Naturally, my children love to play with it. I came in to the living room the other morning to find that the entire set was gone. They had happily tossed it around the house. We spent all day looking for pieces. We found all except one, and it would be the most important one: Baby Jesus.
I was not happy, naturally. But we set up the set with all the animals and figurines, and unless you were looking, you wouldn't notice that the set was missing the most important part. It's a very busy nativity, with all the extra animals and the high profile kings and the Virgin Mary and Joseph.
Which got me thinking. Isn't this how Christmas ends up sometimes? We get so very busy doing really good stuff. We have the extras, the high profile parties, the gifts, even the love that we share with family. With everything going on, we might not even notice if Baby Jesus is not at the center of our activities. But if He's not there, all the great stuff going on isn't worth anything. Because, after all, He's the reason for it.
The Baby Jesus is the reason for my nativity. Without him, it's just a bunch of wooden toys, and my children can throw them around to their hearts' content. Jesus is the reason for the season. Without Him, I can bankrupt my credit card with gifts and parties without ever finding the peace and joy that comes along with Christmas.
My oldest found the Baby Jesus this morning. We're keeping Him in the forefront.