People are searching for Jesus

Published 7:30 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

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“What did you do with baby Jesus?” we asked our four-year-old granddaughter when the tiny Jesus went missing from the manger in our family’s crèche.  She had enjoyed rearranging the miniature figurines a few days before we noticed baby Jesus wasn’t there.

We looked in the toy box, under sofa cushions where we had found her color markers, and behind the desk where the crèche was displayed.  We kept searching until we saw Him lying near the cup holder on top of the treadmill. This reminded me of a story I once read.

The drama department of a high school was about to perform “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”  Susie Shellenberger, the drama teacher, and director of the play, was nervously counting the minutes before the curtain would be going up.

Shellenberger fretted, “What if the rope breaks and “the angel of Bethlehem” while bringing good tidings of great joy to the shepherds and “angel” falls on them?”  As for the girl portraying Mary, the mother of Jesus, Shellenberger had stressed the importance of her prop.  Her character would be nothing without holding the doll as the baby in the manger.

Suddenly, “Mary” came running up to the drama teacher, who was thinking, “now is not the time to talk to the director.”  “Ms. Shellenberger,” the girl said excitedly, “You’ve got to help me find Jesus.”

Being a Christian, the drama teacher’s first thought was that her student was expressing a surprising interest in Christianity.  So the teacher quickly responded, “We’ll get together and talk about this.  We’ll talk about how to find God.  It’s seven minutes before the play begins.”

The student replied, “Ms. Shellenberger, he’s missing!”  “Oh, that was just a rumor,” the teacher explained, “The High Priest in Jesus’ day didn’t want to admit He rose from the dead.  After this, we’ll get together for milkshakes and talk about His resurrection.  The play is about to start.”

“Mary” went on to say, “Ms. Shellenberger, Jesus is gone.”  The drama teacher anxiously answered, “But He’s coming back.  Look, we’ll get together later and talk about His resurrection and His return.”

Before the teacher could finish her sentence, the student exclaimed, “Ms. Shellenberger, our Baby Jesus is missing!” A frantic search followed and the prop was found just in time as the curtain opened on “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”  Turned out, someone who was not in the play decided to pull a prank.

The drama teacher’s experience can teach a spiritual lesson.  Like the shepherds and the wise men, people from all walks of life are looking for Jesus, whether they realize it or not.  Pascal once said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

Do we realize who may be searching for Jesus?  Could it be the person who works next to us, the student who sits in our class, the neighbor who lives next door?  As Christians, our lives can be the signs pointing people to Him.  They may be waiting for us to help them find the “Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).