A popular children’s movie a few years ago was the story of a father fish that goes looking for his cherished son, Nemo. He was determined to find and rescue him at any cost. That story reminds me of the Heavenly Father who goes looking for His lost children—us. He too is determined to find and rescue at any cost.
As the Christmas season is upon us once again, some will have a vacant chair at the table this year as the family gathers together for this holiday celebration. Whether our loved one has been called to fight a war in a far away land, or we have the permanent loss of one we know will not be coming back, the emptiness is undeniable. Many have lost jobs due to a stressed economy, and yet others face uncertainty because of enduring illness or a diagnosis that just wasn’t what we had planned for. Nonetheless, Christmas is here, and we simply must by an act of our faith discover once again the reason to celebrate.
I propose that like finding Nemo, we must find Jesus. While the commercialization of Christmas attempts to make us focus on anything but its real meaning, it is still there. It may be obscured among the hustle and the bustle, the mythical versus the divine, yet its message cannot be diminished. That powerful expression of love by our Heavenly Father in the extraordinary gift of His Son is tucked inside every carefully wrapped package we give and receive. It is found in the glow of every candle that transmits its soft light into a darkened room reminding us that the light of God’s love still shines in a dark and seemingly terrorized world. If we look closely, we can find Jesus in the twinkle of each tiny tree light as it blinks a message of hope for a brighter tomorrow. Oh, Jesus can even be found in the image of a cute little snowman when it brings a smile to the face of a child. And believe it or not, we can find Jesus in the ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ of jolly Ole Saint Nick, if in any small way it softens the heart of a Christmas scrooge.
While I once complained because the season seems to start earlier with each passing year, I have decided it is actually a wonderful thing that we celebrate more fully and completely the most miraculous event in all of history. For the coming of the promised Messiah into a lost and undeserving world merits much celebration! As you decorate your home with lights, color, and warmth, at the same time decorate your heart with the love, hope and peace that come from knowing the Savior. Like the shepherds on that memorable night so long ago, seek the One who is worth finding. Let us look for Jesus in every Christmas jingle we hear, every shopping trip we endure, each musical program we attend, and certainly in the midst of every gathering of family and friends. May we allow the generosity of God to overtake us as we look for ways to share our blessings with others, and in so doing, help them find Jesus too. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is really all about—finding Jesus? ~ Janie Kellogg