Baby Jesus Chronicles

Left Split


Baby Jesus is in the crèche.  Phew!  After all, there’s been a rash of Baby Jesus thefts this season.  Both disturbing and somewhat comical was a rash of thefts in Wisconsin last week.  A whole series of Lutheran churches had Jesus stolen from the crèche.  Some say it was a theological stance—that Jesus shouldn’t be out until Christmas Eve, but really?  Is this what we choose to focus our attention on?

Another interesting story came out of Florida.  One community got so tired of “losing Jesus” that they secured their Jesus with GPS to make sure they always knew where he went.

My favorite was a story coming out of Buffalo a few years back.  A theft from a manger outside a family home—with a note that said they would return it in 3 days.  But Baby Jesus wasn’t returned until 8 months later.  It appeared one day on the family’s doorstep.  Next to it was a note, saying,

“We are simply a group of young adults who wished to show baby Jesus a better life than he would have seen cooped up in an attic crawl space.  He has traveled over counties and states, met people and animals alike.  We have done our best to show the baby Jesus the many glorious aspects of our world.” 

Also included on the doorstep was a photo album called “The Baby Jesus Chronicles”.  These ‘thieves’ had taken baby Jesus with them throughout the year—and then created a pictorial journal of his escapades (camping, riding a bike, making brownies, riding in a car, at parties, riding a horse, at college, etc.).

The pictures were hilarious.  But the point was made:  we have these crèches and elaborate displays.  We dress up in our finest and bring out the special music and the flowers.  We sing about Jesus and actually bring Jesus up (sometimes) in day-to-day conversation.  But that is because it’s Christmas.

But, later this week, the songs stop.  The decorations come down.  And, literally, the baby Jesus will be put into many an attic crawl space.  And figuratively as well.

Jesus becomes something that we bring out…and put away. The celebrations end and we go back to our place of darkness all too easily.

Which is why on this Christmas day, after hearing the story of Jesus birth—the story that invokes memories of children and family and flowers and song and food and gifts,  why on this day, that in addition to the story of Jesus’ birth, we hear the words from the gospel of John:

John 1:4—in Him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

Through Christ, we gained life.  That’s why we like to hear the retelling of the nativity story from the gospels of Luke and Matthew so much—because the characters:  Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and even the wise ones are full of life.

We resonate with them—their struggles and their fears, but mostly, their joy.  We hear the story and it gives us hope for a way out of our darkness.  It gives us a vision of how God can turn nasty, dire situations around.  For a brief moment each year, we live vicariously through them…and we are at peace.

But the good news doesn’t end there, for the real good news is in:  John 1:14—And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

That life, that light, that Word came to dwell among us…daily.  Not just last night.  Not just today. Certainly not just 2000 years ago.

But to be with us. In our joyous times. In our struggles, In our hospital rooms.

In our drug clinics. In our prisons. In our senior centers, In our rec centers.

In our food cupboards.  In our schools.  In the inner city.  In the widest fields.

In our churches.  In our homes.

Camping.  Riding a bike.  Making brownies.  Riding in a car.  At parties.  Riding a horse.  At college.  Etc.

For with Christ in our lives, years of darkness are eclipsed by a new day of divine companionship.

Not put away as a nice story to hear once a year, but a reality of life that is with us.  Foretold to us by the angels.  Celebrated with us by the shepherds.  Both a child AND a king.  God—IN our lives.

Blessing us, strengthening us, giving us hope.  For a Christmas that takes place ALL of our days.

Merry Christmas.  May you and yours be blessed this day and always.

Share your  stories of your own Baby Jesus Chronicles.


At the Super Bowl

At the Super Bowl

Singing with Beyonce'

Singing with Beyonce’

at dinner

at dinner

Sharing a glass of wine

Sharing a glass of wine

Riding the El

Riding the El

At the airport

At the airport

At McDonalds

At McDonalds

At Joseph's Pizza

At Joseph’s Pizza

At Work

At Work








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