Are you struggling to find the Christ Child this Advent Season? You’re not alone. I am, too! Here’s how I’m keeping Christ in Christmas, even in the midst of chaos.
Baby Jesus is in the Neti pot.
I know. Gross. But my husband believes this plastic vessel the safest place: it’s enclosed, placed high on a shelf, and, save the inopportune sinus malady, likely to remain untouched.
He had neglected to inform the children of the Christ child’s current status, however. Which is how I came to witness the following scene from the Kochis Family Christmas Pageant:
* Six-year-old glances at the Nativity scene. Notices, well, something*
BABY JESUS IS GONE!!!!!!!”
“Bad F!!!! You give back baby Jesus RIGHT NOW! Santa will never bring us presents if we let Baby Jesus get kidnapped!!!!!”
Exit stage right, with great feeling.
*muffled sounds of a scuffle from the living room. Toddler shrieks. Six-year-old returns triumphant, giant ceramic camel held aloft*
“MAMA! Protect Frank. I must find Baby Jesus.”
Exit, stage right.
Enter, stage right.
“Oh before I go, can I have my cookie, please?”
My brother-in-law hails from Puerto Rico. Every year at our extended family gathering, he makes this heavenly concoction of Coco Lopez, sweetened condensed milk, nutmeg, and Rum.
It is called coquito. And this year, it is mine.
I have not had a peaceful Advent.
I wanted one. I worked for one. But between five million deadlines, the stomach flu, an absolute wreck of a house and three beautiful children who will eat nothing but Christmas cookies and chocolate, it’s felt more like a one-way ticket to the sanitarium.
Instead of spending time in prayer as a family, I’m resenting the fifteenth game of pin-the-toddler-removed-ornament on the Christmas tree.
Instead of bowing my head by the Advent wreath, I’m strong-arming a tantrum-riddled two year off the dining room table while my husband referees our squabbling girls.
Instead of turning to Christ in Scripture, I’m hiding from a pile of laundry, inhaling golfball-sized pieces of my neighbor’s homemade fudge in some ill-fated attempt to find inner peace.
Baby Jesus has indeed been kidnapped.
His abductor? My own frustrations, irritations, and unreasonable expectations. I’m three-quarters of the way through Advent, and what have I got to show for it?
An abandoned Christmas novena in one hand, and a broken pink taper in the other.
But there is a voice, calling me.
Do you see it?
Come home to Bethlehem.
Do not be afraid…For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Luke (2:11,12)
This is the answer. A babe, wrapped in cloth in his mother’s arms; the source and summit of our hope.
He remains, through the chaos of our brokenness.
He loves, through the confusion of our expectations.
He sustains, through the static of our hectic lives.
And so I will go to the City of David. I will lay down my burden in that lowly manger, a crib more fitting a servant than a King. I will find the Christ Child in the midst of my upheaval.
And I will leave it at the foot of his holy cross.
This post is part of the CWBN December Blog Hop: Make Him Room: Putting Christ in Christmas.