Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Christmas Jesus: Don't Leave Him in the Manger
Okay, I'll admit it. I can't say I loved the movie Talladega Nights, but quite of few of the lines made me chuckle.
As a matter of fact, the main character Ricky's prayer over the family meal actually has me in stitches every time I think of it. Here's a sampling:
"Dear Lord Baby Jesus... Dear Baby Jesus, we also thank you for my wife's father, Chip. We hope that you can use your Baby Jesus powers to heal him and his horrible leg... Dear Tiny Infant Jesus..."
In the middle of his prayer, Ricky's wife Carley interrupts. "Hey, um... you know, sweetie, Jesus did grow up. You don't always have to call him baby. It's a bit odd and off puttin' to pray to a baby."
Ricky, frustrated with his wife's assertion says, "Well, look, I like the Christmas Jesus best when I'm sayin' grace. When you say grace, you can say it to Grown-up Jesus, or Teenage Jesus, or Bearded Jesus or whoever you want."
He later continues, "Dear Tiny Jesus, in your golden fleece diapers with your tiny, little fat balled up fists..."
The funniest thing about this prayer to me is the truth in it. The first time I saw it, I thought "now that could preach."
You see, most people are most comfortable with the "Christmas Jesus" laying in a manger, cooing adorably. That Jesus is heart-warming and sweet.
Few people like to envision Jesus as the God-man who overturned market tables, furious that His temple had been converted into a marketplace of thieves. They don't like the thought of a bloody and beaten Jesus hanging on the cross. And the image of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, with immeasurable power and authority doesn't necessarily invoke warm and fuzzy feelings.
But if we're going to pray to Jesus, walk with Jesus, live for Jesus, we've got to embrace not only the baby Jesus in a manger in golden fleece diapers, but the grown-up Jesus in all His glory and majesty.
This Christmas, don't leave Jesus in the manger. Please, friends, remember that dear Baby Jesus grew up.