We’ve all had those days – being late for work because everything that could go wrong that morning was. You are finally ready to go out, but your keys are nowhere to be found. Frustration mounts until you finally find them under the stack of mail on the table.
Joe Ligon (Senior Associate Executive Director of Oklahoma Baptists) recently shared with us some glimpses of Zechariah’s song in Luke’s first chapter. It was a wonderful message from an often overlooked passage. As he shared with us, he told the story of Mary and Joseph accidentally leaving Jesus in Jerusalem. He said, “How come you are leading the Son of God astray? “
While the commentary was a bit comical in context, it struck me differently. I realized this happens all the time, and it’s much more important than a missing set of keys. It’s not that Christ is ever lost, but it is often removed from the place of honor, prominence and majesty it deserves. It is in the wrong place.
Ironically, we see this as often during the holiday season. This time to celebrate his birth – Emmanuel’s remarkable and glorious reality, God With Us – has shifted to a focus on gifts, decorations, songs, stories, treats and lights. These things are not inherently wrong. In fact, they each refer to Christ in their own way when used correctly. But we must intentionally assess their place in our lives and discern whether they are turning our eyes to Jesus or looking away from him.
Dr Ligon pointed out that although the child of Zechariah and Elizabeth was a long-awaited miracle, and although this child’s promised future meant great things to Israel, the first verse of Zechariah’s song was still Christ-centered. He commented, “You can’t go wrong putting Jesus first. “
If your keys in the wrong place can have such a negative impact on your day, imagine the consequences on your life of not having Christ in your place. Every moment is a gift and an opportunity to fix our eyes on Jesus or the things of this world. In Colossians 3: 2-3, Paul urges Christians to “Focus on the things that are above, not the things that are on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. “
This Christmas, let the lights remind you that Jesus is the light of the world. When you open a gift, remember the greatest gift mankind has ever known. Looking at the evergreen trees (even the fake ones), thank God for his everlasting and unfailing love. May the magic of the holidays become a call to worship our beautiful Savior and Creator.