Where is Jesus?
This is an appropriate question to ponder in the Season of Epiphany. The three wise men followed the star to the place where Jesus had been born. Fortunately, they did not reveal his location to King Herod. In preparation for celebrating Christmas, many Christians sang the familiar words of the Christmas carol, “Joy to The World.” The first verse of this hymn contains a directive, a plea, an invitation: “Let every heart prepare Him room.”
To prepare room for Jesus is to make a place for Jesus in our heart, in our life. Now that is a joyous experience. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room.”
The biblical story tells us that when Jesus was born, however, there was no room for Mary and her son in the inn. So, Mary laid Jesus in a manger. Where is your Jesus? As you traverse the days of the new year, where will your Jesus be found? In other words, have you made a place for Jesus in your private and public life? Do you have a prepared place for Jesus?
Fast forward to the Easter story and the death of Jesus. Jesus was placed in a borrowed tomb, but on the third day the women went to the tomb and discovered that it was empty. The women were perplexed by the surprise of an empty tomb. Where was Jesus? They were told that Jesus, who had been raised from death to life, was not there. Jesus, of course, previously had reminded his disciples that he would be with them “to the end of the age.”
When we consider the drama of the Christmas story and the marvelous dynamics (triumphal entry, the Last Supper, foot washing, betrayal, denial, forgiveness, prayer, death, and resurrection) of the Easter story, we come face to face with Jesus. Eugene Peterson, in the “Message,” helps us to gain focus and clarity regarding the question: Where is Jesus? “The Word became flesh and blood, And moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14)
Our hope is couched in our belief that the Word is resident in our neighborhoods. What a wonderful gift. Jesus the Son of God, lives in our neighborhoods – our cities, our homes, our churches and our hearts. We, therefore, live in the presence of Jesus.
As we journey through the early days of a New Year, there are some ominous signs on the horizon – fear, doubt, anxiety, mistrust, anger, suspicion, etc. Let us not, however, miss the signs of God’s fresh beginnings as illustrated in the change of seasons – winter, spring, summer and fall.
God is ever present in our midst. In this Season of Epiphany, let us not forget that Jesus comes to us and brings to us, grace and truth. “He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove, The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His Love.”
God calls us, you and me, to be the presence of Jesus in our neighborhoods. By practicing the presence of Jesus in our neighborhoods, we can help to build new relationships between all people and with God.
Think about it!
Epiphany of the Lord – January 6, 2017
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14