Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”
Is there something in your life right now that is pulling you away from Jesus? What can you do to take a step away from that thing and toward Jesus?
Read Matthew 2:1-8.
I remember one year during college, when my roommates and I were decorating our apartment for Christmas. I set up my nativity set in the living room. One of my roommates noticed that Baby Jesus was missing. I explained that Advent was a time of waiting and preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus. In order to stay true to the spirit of Advent, I would wait until Christmas Eve to put Jesus in the manger. I also revealed to my roommate that I had hidden the infant Jesus figurine somewhere in the room. She proceeded to search all over the room, trying to find Jesus. My heart ached, because I wanted so badly to help her find Jesus—not just the figurine, but Jesus, my best friend—but I didn’t think I could. I felt like she needed to find Jesus without my help, so that her faith would truly be hers, and not just a faith borrowed from someone else.
During Advent 2015 I set up my nativity set in a different place than usual. When Christmas Eve arrived, I couldn’t remember where I had put the baby Jesus figurine. As I was searching for Jesus, my mind went back to that experience in my college apartment. I thought about the days and weeks leading up to Christmas, 2015. The hectic schedule that seems unavoidable during December had pulled me away from my normal routine of prayer. It seemed that my difficulty finding the infant Jesus figurine reflected the distance that had come between Jesus and me, because I wasn’t spending time with him.
The good news is that, in real life, Jesus doesn’t hide from us. He pursues us. If we are distant from him, it is because we have moved away. Because he is always pursuing us, we don’t have to search for Jesus. To find him, all we have to do is turn around.
I challenge you to spend ten minutes with Jesus today. Find a quiet place without distractions. (If your home is not a quiet place, try your car. If your garage is not a quiet place, drive a few blocks away.) Imagine yourself resting in the arms of Jesus. You don’t have to say or do anything. Just rest in his unconditional love.