My wife Karen and I were asked to play Joseph and Mary in
our Church’s Christmas Musical. We dressed in period-appropriate garb, robes, sandals, etc., and carried the "Baby Jesus" doll wrapped in a blanket to the manger. We did all this while singing, “Silent Night” with our choir. In the dress rehearsal, all went well…that is until my wife bent down to lay baby Jesus in the manger.
You see there was a loose strand on Karen’s headdress which caught on the splintered edge of the manger. Therefore, when she stood-up after laying the baby down, the strand pulled the manger violently such that it rocked with tidal wave force and threw "Jesus" straight up into the air. He bounced off the edge of the manger, flipped, and then plummeted off the platform onto the main floor of the sanctuary.
People gasped. The unspoken horror was that the Pastor's wife had likely just killed "Baby Jesus." The shock didn't last long as giggles swiftly turned into uproarious laughter throughout the room. Obviously, they knew it was just a plastic toy doll and the irony of the scene was just too funny to ignore.
THE SAD TRUTH
Don't get me wrong, I laughed too. I had a hard time singing the last verse or two of Silent Night while chucking and snorting. Still, when I though about it the next day, a sobering reality hit me...
Not only did Karen "kill" Jesus...we all do...daily.
Scripture is clear that Jesus took our stripes and our death penalty on himself (Isa 53:5, etc.). So every time I stumble, I need to remember that the penalty for that sin is/was placed on Jesus. The truth of this substitution should do a couple of things in my life:
1. Make me grateful for God's grace through Christ.
2. Inspire me to grow in my faith and overcome sin as much as is possible (Rev. 3:12).
I want to get better at NOT "killing Jesus." Perhaps that's at least part of what scripture calls us to as we grow up in Him (Eph 4:15).
To that end, Merry Christmas,