Christmas is over. If you were like us, we did our traditional pack up the Christmas decorations on New Year's day. Now it's back to "normal" daily living — jobs are waiting, a NCAA national championship game has been set between Ohio State and Oregon, the NFL playoffs are in full swing, our regular TV shows are back on after the glut of holiday specials, the house needs cleaning, the yard needs pre-emergent spread for the spring, the trash needs to be taken out, the vacuum needs to be run, and the crazy grind of normalcy awaits.
It's easy to put Jesus back in the box and stick him in the attic with our Christmas decorations. Our secular society wants us to segment our lives and divorce our faith from our daily activities. Many of us find this easier than having Jesus permeate all of our life's twists, turns, challenges, opportunities, and moral dilemmas. Yet before we do put Jesus away with our Christmas lights and ornaments, let's take a moment and take Jesus out of the Christmas box in which we stick him until Easter or the next Christmas.
While none of us really knows the date or even time of year Jesus was born with certainty, we do know he was born. God entered the womb of a woman and became a baby. The implications of that reality hit home New Year's morning as our seven and half year old grandson, Shaun, was telling a story about a boy who shrunk himself so he could go down in a hole and help the micro-people who lived down there. He used a phrase that stopped all of us at the table in our tracks. One of the people in the bottom of the hole said about the boy who shrunk himself, "Look, he is tiny enough for all of us!"
Before we forget about the birth of Jesus and the gift of God, let's take those words into our heart a moment and think about them in terms of Jesus. "Look, he is tiny enough for all of us!" That's the sum of the story of incarnation. That's the bewildering miracle Paul describes to the Philippians as the model of our relationships with each other:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death —
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)
The Almighty, eternal, Creator of our universe chose to become "tiny enough for all of us"! He became tiny enough for us...
To find him.
To know him.
To trust him.Before we forget about the birth of Jesus and the gift of God, let's take those words into our heart!To call on him.
To follow him.
To become like him.
So as we launch out into the normalcy of this year, we must consciously refuse putting Jesus back into the Christmas box and look for him in our normalcy — all the good, bad, and ugly that goes with the day-to-day grind of daily life on planet earth. Jesus has been here — the Almighty clothed in mortality like us and with us. He left his footprints in the dust of our humanity so we can know "he is tiny enough for all of us" to find him, know him, trust him, call on him, follow him, and become like him just as he became like us.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16-18).