On Monday, due to weather conditions, I suddenly became hostess to a party of 20 women on our MOPS leadership team, our planned location being semi-out-of-doors. I found this out around 9 a.m. on Monday morning, and of course this sent me into a house cleaning tizzy. My home is about 11oo square feet, and has enough Christmas decorations in it for a house twice that size, so it's beautiful, brightly lit, and very crowded. Therefore, all children clutter and dirt must be removed before party people arrive.
I turned the TV on for Livie and sprung into action. As I spun around the kitchen like the Tasmanian Devil, bangs pressed back in a sweatband, apron tied tight around my waist, I whisked a plastic kids' cup off the butcher block and dumped it down the sink without looking at the contents.
A peculiar rattle came from the sink (definitely not the sound milk makes), so I stuck my hand down the garbage disposal (not turned on) to see what it was.
It was baby Jesus.
Livie has an old, mismatched plastic nativity in her room that she's allowed to play with, and here in her breakfast cup was the infant Savior -- blond, naked, curled up in ball, with bits of dried hot glue and Spanish moss stuck to his bottom. And I had dumped him down the drain.
Do any of us really need to read (or write) another piece about how Jesus can get lost in the bustle of the Christmas season? Well, apparently I do, as I take the literal disposing of Jesus down the sink as a sign. Just a few thoughts on the subject:
* I can't even say "Baby Jesus" without hearing it in Will Ferrel's fake southern accent from Taladega Nights. "Dear eight-pound, five-ounce baby Jesus in his gold diaper..." "Baby Jesus" sounds in my head, bubbling out of a Nascar driver's mouth as he asks the non-intimidating baby God to keep the money coming. Baby Jesus becomes a caricature, even in my own head, and I am a follower of Christ!
*At Christmas its too easy to make Jesus a Precious Moment figurine, a plastic Little People toy. In all his accessability (Livie plays with him like he's a My Little Pony), I can forget that he is a sign of God's radical love and the world's need for salvation. The baby Jesus shows that God wants to be accessible to us; he came vulnerable, naked, cute. But he grew up to be a lot more than that. I don't want to worship just a cute Jesus at Christmas.
* I have sent out 100 Christmas cards, watched Elf twice (dude, what is it with me and Will Ferrel today?), wrapped lots of gifts, embroidered six tea towels, and spent a week decorating, but other than the Bible verse from Luke I read with the kids in our advent calendar each morning, I haven't read Scripture or sat down to pray for at least a week. And at the party for these women I serve with at church, I didn't even say a prayer over our dinner! I know His Spirit was still evoked as we gathered, but I wish I had made time show Him more reverence amidst our merry making.
Livie's little plastic Jesus is back in his manger where He belongs. And as for me, this blog is my way of putting Jesus where He belongs for me: in my heart. I'll work at keeping him there for the rest of the season.