To say this time of year gets crazy and urge you to “Keep Christ In Christmas” might be called bumper-sticker preaching, but let me make a scriptural case.
Jesus went missing from his own family.
In Luke 2 we read, “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
Sure, Jesus went physically missing from his loved ones. But, as you may have guessed, I’ve got a spiritual application for me and for you.
1. Fellowship can be lost.
Mary and Joseph lost Him for three days. They didn’t lose relationship. They lost fellowship. We easily can miss our time with Jesus too. We have a relationship, but we are too busy for connection, too busy for His Word, too busy for prayer, too busy for His purposes. The tree is up, the packages are wrapped, the car is serviced for travel, but the Bible is closed.
2. Anybody can lose Jesus.
Notice that the people closest to Jesus lost him. And even his closest servants have lost him. David, Moses, Samson, and Peter all lost fellowship with the Lord for a season. So, if you feel a distance growing, you’re in good company.
3. You can lose Jesus in Church.
Mary and Joseph lost Jesus during Passover, their most significant religious celebration. They also presumed He was close to them. The Bible says they supposed Him to have been among them. Because you are a “regular attender”, you might be “supposing” you are “with” Jesus, but where is your heart? Are you rushing, racing, hurrying to the next task? Perhaps you’re in Church at Christmas and that loneliness creeps in every year at this time? Perhaps you aren’t rushing and everything slows down for you, and old family hurts creep in? Have you lost Jesus because of your own disappointments?
4. You can lose Him through your own sin.
Check your emotions and your motivations this time of year. Be careful where you go, what you handle, what you listen to, what your eyes look at, what you speak about. Sin often wraps itself like a pretty package. But, the price of this “gift” is losing fellowship with Jesus.
“Pastor, I’ve lost Him, where can I find Him?”
Mary and Joseph found Him right where they left Him, about His Father’s business. And that’s exactly where you can find Him. In the business of answering your prayers, rewarding your obedience, healing your hurts, and comforting your loneliness. Like the father of the prodigal son, His arms are open-wide, waiting for your whole-hearted return.
Now, that would be a Merry Christmas!