James Moore, in his book, Christmas Gifts that Won’t Break, tells a story of a young mother who wanted her children to learn the real meaning of Christmas. In order to do this, she bought a small, indestructible Nativity set and put it in the living room. Her children loved the Nativity set and were often found in the living room playing with it. As you could the, the figurines often disappeared. She would find the figurines having participated in the storming of a Lego castle or at a tea party in the dollhouse.
Interestingly, the character which disappeared the most was Jesus. One time she found him in her daughter’s room in the window sill. “How appropriate,” she thought, “Jesus, though born in a stable grew up to watch over us.”
A few days later, Jesus disappeared again. She searched all over the house and couldn’t find the baby Jesus. She asked her daughter, but she swore she didn’t know where he was. Then she approached her two year old son and asked, “Do you know where Jesus is?” He nodded his head “yes,” and led her to his room. He pointed to the bed. Lifting the covers, she didn’t find him. But the boy then pointed to the pillow. Lifting the pillow, there baby Jesus lay.
James Moore writes, “Isn’t that beautiful? You see, for many two year olds, bedtime is a scary time. It’s dark…and they feel all alone. But this young boy felt safe and secure because Jesus was there with him.”
Isn’t this the good news of Emmanuel, God with us? Because Jesus was born in the flesh, because Jesus took on our skin, we are never alone. We never face adversity by ourselves. Rather, God in Christ is with us. And if God is with us, we will not ultimately be defeated or overtaken. The Eternal God will walk with us through the darkest valleys and into God’s glorious light.