Sunday, December 7, 2008

a hands-on Jesus

I just heard a sweet story on the radio - bittersweet, actually - and thought I'd relate it here as it is fact, not fiction. Just recently a real newborn baby was found lying in the manger of a nativity scene in Germany. Just the baby, no mother or father near. No shepherds or sheep or other animals, either. But certainly angels and maybe even a star or two. I wonder what He thought when the mother left her baby there? It comforts me to know He understood her reasons, even if she didn't. And He'd already set things in motion for the baby to be found and the mother to be located and now a church has stepped in to help them both. Not every story has a happy ending, I know.

I would have loved to have found that baby lying there as I love babies and might not have gone to the authorities, just taken him home! Likewise, I want a hands-on Jesus, not a cold ceramic one or a plastic one like the baby in the manger at our church nativity yesterday.

We didn't always have a hands-on Jesus. When I think of God in the Old Testament, the word that comes to mind is holy, not hands-on. In fact, some of those men of old who touched the ark of the covenant to keep it from falling died on the spot. But then Jesus was born and bridged that terrible chasm. There's nothing more hands-on than a baby. Even as an adult Jesus stayed accessible, touching and healing and being with the crowds. I've heard that Jewish culture is very hands-on so I think He must have been a hugger, too. He loved people. Loves them still. He even told Thomas to touch his nail-scarred hands and side to prove He was who He was.

So they came in a hurry and found their way to to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. Luke 2:16

He's no longer in the manger but the call to "hurry" still stands. Hurry or you just might miss Him!

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