Where Is the Baby?

“And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”  (Luke 2: 16 – 20)

The beginning had ended. The shepherds came, saw the Christ child, and left, leaving Mary musing over what just happened. That pattern is still experienced in Christmas today.

If you think about it, some Christmas traditions are very strange. The greeting on one certain Christmas card goes like this: “Christmas is just plain weird. What other time of year do you sit around staring at a dead tree in your living room and eat candy out of your socks.” 

There is nothing weird about Christmas, but all things are miraculous.  The events of the first Christmas are worth emulating today.

Like the shepherds who had received the message from the angels, they came and visited baby Jesus. All this combined they became effusive in telling others. They promoted what had happened. Today we “talk-up” the advent of Christmas as no other time of the year. It is a joyous “Go tell it on the mountain” time like no other.

After the shepherds left and before the Wise Men arrived Mary pondered what had just happened. After Christmas is a good time to reflect on what you have just seen and heard. Think about it and how it applies to your life. Be spiritually refreshed by what just happened and what effect it has on you. Don’t let Jesus get lost in secular activities.

There was a wealthy European family that decided to have their newborn baby dedicated in their enormous mansion. Dozens of guests were invited to the elaborate affair, and they all arrived dressed elegantly. After depositing their wraps on a bed in an upstairs room, the guests were entertained royally. Soon the time came for the main purpose of their gathering: the infant’s ceremony. But where was the baby? No one seemed to know. The child’s governess ran upstairs and returned with a desperate look on her face. Everyone searched frantically for the baby. Then someone recalled having seen him asleep on one of the beds. The baby was on a bed all right—buried beneath a pile of coats, jackets, and furs. The object of that day’s celebration had been forgotten, neglected, and nearly smothered. The baby whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas is easily hidden beneath the piles of traditions and cultural observances of the season. We need to enter every Advent season asking, “Where’s the baby?”

The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God. That should be the lasting result of our celebration. Make it your lifestyle.