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Presence of Jesus Everyday

I had a conversation with a few ladies walking past our house the other day. It was the 5th of January and they were commenting on the Christmas decorations we had up in our windows. On our dining room window we had a decal (large reusable sticker) of a Bethlehem skyline against a stary night. There is the silhouette of a manger scene in the middle.

My conversation went something like this:

Lady: I love your decorations.
Me: Oh thank you. I’m glad they have brought a smile.
Lady: Yeah they are so different from everything else you see these days.
Me: I think it’s important to remember what Christmas is actually all about.
Lady: Yeah, they remind me of the decorations we had when I was little. Like you said what Christmas is all about, shepherds and palm trees and the 3 kings.
Me: …..
Lady: …..
Me: And Jesus!??
Lady: Oh yeah…I guess…anyway it’s all got to come down tonight otherwise it’s bad luck isn’t it?

I couldn’t help but smile. We make such a point of our Christmas decorations being about the Christmas story. We have stars, and angels, more nativity sets than is humanly possible to display in one house, and lights, so many lights! I love to decorate the house and Advent is as much of the excitement as Christmas day itself. I was excited to be chatting with someone who I thought felt the same, but maybe not. This lady longed for the ‘real’ Christmas decorations but did she actually long for Jesus? She wanted to see the ‘proper’ decorations, not these fancy flashing blow-up snowmen, but she still thought if I didn’t get the decorations down before twelfth night it would be bad luck for me.

I have thought about that conversation often over the last week as bits of Christmas are still being found and packed away. Do we just dust Jesus off for Christmas and Easter and maybe the occasional high-day and holiday in-between or is the presence of Jesus an everyday experience for us? A few weeks ago I had to walk past 6 baby Jesus’ to get from my bed to the breakfast table and our daughter would point out each one!! The challenge now is how do I continue to encounter Jesus 6 times before breakfast? 

In December I make time to burn an Advent candle, I read an Advent devotional, I make time to share the Christmas story with friends and family. In January, do I do as much to encounter Jesus? God became a human being to live amongst us and in December I’m all for carving time out to celebrate that but in January suddenly the house needs cleaning, that cupboard needs organising, that piece of work needs doing or I really should start exercising more. I don’t have time for all those extra ‘God things’ now do I? 

YES!!!! We make time for what is most important to us. If you are looking into 2022 and wondering how to keep Jesus present in your everyday life there is a whole heap of recommended resources on the Inspire blog. Or you could join one of the Online Learning Communities starting soon. 

Rachel is a Missioner based in Chesterfield. Besides collecting nativity sets she is the prayer coordinator across the Movement and co-directs the GB Core Team with her husband Matt.

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