Sunday, January 01, 2012

new years day: and yes, i even made a resolution

(originally written as i was thinking through a class discussion for the college aged sunday school class i head-up. )

My daughter loves to find all of the Baby Jesus’ she can in everyone’s decorations. At home, at Grandparent’s houses, at church, everywhere! (My child also is very aware that there are at least two babies in the Bible stories, and wasn’t quite sure why we don’t also have baby Moses decorations in the house to go with all of the baby Jesus decorations. )

It is difficult for my 20 month old to understand that people grow from babies into big kids and then adults. We were watching Tangled this weekend, and because it begins with Rapunzel as a baby, my little one spent the next 45 minutes of the movie watching now-grown-Rapunzel
in front of her eyes, while asking where the baby was and wanting to see the baby again.

But…how easy is it for each of us to also forget that baby Jesus is the same Jesus Christ, our savior. He grew through boyhood and into a young man. He ate, he slept, he walked, he had friends, he cried, he laughed, he felt discouraged, he felt every weight of sin at his death. He really did live, and he really did die.

Now that my daughter understands that Jesus was a sweet little baby, I have to help her learn to understand that Jesus grew from that tiny baby, into a real man who experienced real life, with all of its messiness…and that He is fully God…and that He brings healing, and peace, and that He did it all to save His people from their sins.

Now that those around us have just seen depictions of Jesus all around them and heard his gospel in the Christmas songs in the shopping centers and light shows, How can we help them understand the Jesus who grew up to be their savior?

In order to help all of these confused people, though…I first have to look myself at my view of Jesus. The baby. The man who really lived. The man who called me to be holy. He demanded that I leave everything for the sake of following Him. The person who called me to love my neighbors and pray for my enemies. I cannot help my little ones or my lost neighbors understand Jesus unless I live each day for the man who lived and died to save ME.

I must confess…I feel as though I’ve “missed” something this Christmas..and it all has to do with the fact that I haven’t taken the time to get alone in the Word on any kind of regular basis during the business of the celebrations. I’ve let the days fly past me. Days filled with plenty of singing and carols and focusing on the truth and teaching my child—and other people’s children—about the importance of Christ as a baby, but I didn’t give Him His proper priority as The King in my heart this December. My new year’s resolution: step away from the manger and follow the man. I’m going to make time in the Bible a priority and along with that, draw nearer to Jesus in humility and worship of Him as great and mighty and more important than all of the grand things He has blessed me with. He is creator, healer, King, ruler, and without Him, I’d be absolutely destitute—in every way possible.

1 Corinthians 15 (if Christ was not raised from the dead, then nothing in our Faith counts for anything)

Galatians 2:19-21 (I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.)

Resolved: 1. read the word 2. Pray fervently