We are well into the Christmas shopping season. What to get Uncle Fred who has everything? I came across this nice column from my friend JDR and it just seemed appropriate at this time of the season, and so I thought I would share it with you.
“I’d never met the woman, but still, I had to ask:
“Have you found Jesus?”
“I’m sorry?” she said.
I understood her confusion. It’s not a question you get asked very often in her line of work.
“I’m wondering if you found Jesus,” I said. “We think we left him on your plane.”
It was my fault, really. We were flying from Tampa to Wichita for Christmas in 1995, and I thought it would be a good idea to entertain our two-year-old with a little toy nativity set we brought from home. It didn’t take long before donkeys and sheep were scattered on the plane floor and wise men were stuffed between the seats.
It wasn’t until we got to Wichita, though, that we realized the manger was empty. And that’s why I was explaining to the woman on the other end of the phone that we had lost Jesus.
“OK. What flight?” she asked.
Delta customer service reps — like pastors — are trained to offer a non-anxious presence. She just gathered the necessary information, checked the lost and found records, and let me know that no, they had not found Jesus. But she hoped we had a good Christmas anyway.
Of course, so many people do, right? Jesus is missing, but they have a terrific Christmas anyway. Then we Christians, being the holy ones, get mad. “Put the Christ back in Christmas, dang it,” we say. “Christmas is all about the love of Jesus, you bunch of morons.”
I wonder if that does any good — for them or for us. There must be a better way to manage the problem.
By the way, when we got back to Florida, we found out that Jesus had been in our own home all along. Delta hadn’t lost track of Jesus; we had.
Maybe that’s the solution to our other problem, too. Maybe Christians are the ones leaving Jesus behind. We might have him in our homes, but we leave him there when we go to work, when we get stuck in traffic, and when we encounter people who don’t know him like we do.
I wonder what would happen if our relationship with the living Christ made us noticeably different — more joyful, more loving, less angry — during the other 11 months of the year. If we Christians put the “Christ” back into January through November, I have a feeling the world would be more eager to put him back in Christmas.
Oh come, all ye faithful. Joyful and triumphant. Oh come, let us adore him. Christ the Lord. Amen.”
Share your thoughts.