“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” MATTHEW 20:16
We have a Fisher-Price Nativity set that we display every year. It sits in a prominent place in the living room, and my young children are allowed to touch it, play with it, and recreate the story of Jesus’ birth.
A few years ago, we brought up the Nativity set and put the box on the table to unpack it. One by one we took them out of the box and arranged them around the stable. The shepherds, the wisemen, the camel, sheep, a sheep dog, a donkey. Then the Angel who stands in the center of the roof, Mary and Joseph who go inside the stable – and baby Jesus.
Except… Baby Jesus is missing.
I dig though the box, beneath all the paper wrappings and cushioning. No baby Jesus. Then four of my five children are sent to the basement, individually.
Each return without Jesus.
This. Is. Not. Good.
I decide to give it a few days. Usually, when things go missing they will get wind of the news that they are searched for and appear in a prominent place. One where you will look at it and wonder “How could I not see it there?”
Sunday night, I sat in church while my husband preached about Immanuel. God with us.
My mind went to the manager scene set up in our home where God in the manager is not.
I thought about how a baby is such an insignificant looking person. Small. Helpless. Least of all the family members. Now anyone who has ever had a baby knows that’s not true. The baby rules.
And then I thought about the least of them being the greatest. Matthew 23:11: “The greatest among you will be your servant.” And in Mark 9:38: Jesus… said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Jesus came to serve. To seek. To save.
Insignificant? Hardly. He is King. He rules. He is the most important One.
In this case, it was true. A missing baby Jesus is…. Crucial. There is no nativity without Jesus. No Christmas without Jesus. No salvation without Jesus.
No hope without Jesus.
Jesus simply had to be found.
The search for baby Jesus was on. Three of my children went to the basement and searched. They came up with Santa, a sleigh, five reindeer, a panda and most importantly, baby Jesus. So all is right in our Nativity scene again.
And in our world. Jesus is no longer missing.
Is Jesus missing from your life? Can you find Him amidst all the clutter? Or do you need to search for Him and put Him in His rightful place. Right in the center of the celebration?