Saturday, December 24, 2016

Stealing Jesus


The Baby Jesus has been stolen from numerous naivety scenes across the county this holiday season. In Boise, Idaho thieves snuck into a Rotary Club nativity in the middle of the night to remove the plastic baby. It was returned two days later when the culprits threw it out the window while driving by the nativity—which if you ask me is the ultimate Hail Mary.

NPR just featured a piece where a woman recounts stealing her sister’s nativity ornament with the words Peace on earth inscribed on it, inciting a ten year long family feud. Peace indeed.

Even our feline friends have been ousting the babe from its manager in the most adorable removal of the Christ child ever known. The old, if I fits I sits adage makes exception for no one.

Some curators of nativity scenes have even resorted to securing the Baby Jesus with a metal band bolted to the manger. Which seems kind of ironic, but a good solution none the less. And of course this being 2016, some plastic babies even have location trackers in them-- coining my favorite term of 2016-- "GPS Jesus."

But I can’t help but feeling like there is some kind of bigger metaphor here. The most important part of the holidays what ever one you choose to celebrate is too easily lost in politics, in spending money and in the stress that accompanies this time of year (bonus if you’re visiting family members who are Trump supporters). We are robbed of what this time of year is really all about-- remembering the light when it is dark. 

And as we get ready to say goodbye to what was one hell of a year, may we all try to do just a little bit better. So whatever religion you are or whatever weird family traditions you partake in, don’t let what can easily be a really stressful time of year get the best of you.

What matters is that we remember what matters. We’re going to need to try harder than we ever have in 2017 in order to protect our world, and to protect each other. We won’t be good friends, community members nor good citizens if we don’t remind ourselves what peace and love and joy feel like. So if you've stolen Jesus this holiday season--or had a plastic infant stolen from your yard, I hope the holiday spirit finds you, and puts you back where you belong. 

I hope you can take a moment to recharge this break. Take a walk in nature, donate money to your favorite charity, buy someone coffee (heck buy yourself coffee you look tired). 

So gentle reader, fill your glass with a beverage of your choosing. Let us cheers to being more present and less petty (although frankly some days go better than others). We will survive elections and exams alike. We will pick each other up, or sit with each other on the ground—whatever feels right. And at the end of the day, we will not rob ourselves of hope, even if we so often loose our way. Let us come back with renewed strength and energy and perseverance to put 2016 to bed and welcome in the hope that a new year always seems to bring.


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