During the month of December, a jolly light up Santa would always stand proudly on our front porch. He was there, smiling to the world, ready to herald the arrival of Christmas. But a few years ago, we decided to upgrade to the Holy Family.
We arranged Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus on the front lawn, tracked down our extension leads, and plugged them in. Beautiful! The baby Jesus brought light to our neighborhood, which of course, is what Jesus always does.
My husband and I watched from the window as the children who lived in the street came to admire the display. It gave us a good feeling to advertise the true meaning of Christmas.
But one week, when the heavy snows came to Michigan, the baby Jesus simply disappeared, buried under a deep blanket of white. Think of it… that little baby, the one responsible for the presents we’ll open soon, that little baby left in the cold.
I remember thinking these unthinkable things as I bent down to scrape the snow away from his little face, how Jesus is simply buried underneath all the tinsel and trimmings; hidden in the busyness of shopping; obscured by the chaos of consumerism and the commercialism of Christmas.
That day, when I scraped the snow from his face, I had pulled my boots on, donned my winter gear and waded out to reach him. And even though I wore my gloves, my fingers were still cold. I was going to leave him there… after all, I could see his little eyes now.
But this is Michigan. I heard a quiet voice say. There’ll be snow on snow on snow. And Jesus will be buried again.
So I dug in, and lifted the baby Jesus out. And I placed him on top of the snow where his light could be seen.
And that, right there, that’s what I need to be doing instead of just scraping at the surface. I need to dig deeper, to elevate Jesus to the place He truly belongs in my life, even when my fingers are cold and it’s not convenient.
Because He is the One who waded out to reach me.