Finding Christmas

0 comments Posted on November 1, 2021

by Anthony Russo

I have a real knack for losing track of things. There’s the usual stuff, like my keys, the time, and the water glass I’m using, but it goes beyond that I’m afraid. I lose track of things I have no business losing. Things like sweatshirts, jewelry, and pillows. You name it, I’ve probably lost it.

One day, for a few moments, I lost track of my kid.

A group of us were at a friend’s house, and all the kids were playing in the backyard. I was back there with a few of the dads, and it had gotten dark, so everyone was getting ready to leave. We called the kids in, and they all came running…or so I assumed. My wife did a quick scan of the kids running around the living room and asked me where our youngest son was. “He’s in here somewhere…I’m pretty sure,” I said, confidently.

A few seconds passed and I was suddenly much less sure. I rushed outside to find my son playing with a truck in the backyard, completely unaware that the herd of kids around him had disappeared.

I really thought I was a terrible parent and had probably forever scarred my son, but then I remembered this passage from Luke chapter 2. The first part of the chapter is probably a story that is very familiar to you:

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Shortly after that timeless scene, we get this one:

“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him” (Luke 2:41–45).

Mary and Joseph lost track of the Savior of the world for a couple of days, which is impressive, even by my standards.

Jesus overcame His parents losing track of Him and turned out pretty good, so it’s comforting to know that there’s still hope for my son.

It’s easy for us to look at Mary and Joseph from thousands of miles and thousands of years away and question how they lost track of something so important, but I wonder how many of us have done the same thing?

Christmas is a wonderful, magical season, but have you ever lost sight of the reason for it? I know I have. I get so busy rushing to school performances and Christmas parties and shopping for presents that I glance past exactly what this all means.

It means that there is a God in control of this universe and that God loves us.

It means that same God chooses to enter into our suffering instead of observing it from some far-off heavenly sanctuary.

It means that there is a light that shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.

It means that light is here, with us, today.

It means that despite all measurable evidence to the contrary there is a reason for love, grace, peace, joy, and hope.

As we wind down another year full of hardship and loss for many, I hope you don’t lose sight this Christmas season of all we have to celebrate. And if you’ve never experienced the love of Christ, I hope that is a gift you accept and receive this year. It will change your life for the better in so many ways, but I can’t guarantee it will help you remember where you put that gift card for your son’s teacher. (I swear, it was just here a second ago…)

Merry Christmas!

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