Wherever We Go, Jesus Is With Us
By Dawn Neely
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
For most of our forty years of marriage, my pastor husband and I have lived in a parsonage. We have lived in beautiful houses and they all have been relatively close to the church.
This was not a problem; in fact it was a blessing regarding transportation. My husband could walk to work and I could have the car!
But one particular December, we found that having a curious golden lab and close proximity to the church yard made for an interesting discovery on Christmas morning.
Our yuletide celebrations are filled with traditions in the Neely household. As in most families, we have the decorations in every nook and cranny, read the Christmas story, eat until we are more than full, sing songs and open most of our presents on Christmas Eve.
No one is allowed to go into the living room the next day until all of us are awake. Knowing this, our youngest daughter was doing her best to rouse all of us out of the bed on Christmas morning and get us headed toward the gifts. With little success, she decided to go outside to wish our dog Daisy a Merry Christmas!
All of the sudden, Sarah came running in the house, entered our bedroom with baited breath and announced, “Mama, Jesus is in the driveway!”
In a slightly comatose state, I sat up in bed and asked Sarah to repeat herself.
“Mama, Jesus is in the driveway!” she repeated, this time with more determination that I understand the severity of the situation.
“What does that mean Sarah?” as I tried to wrap my head around what she was saying.
“I think Daisy dragged Jesus from the Nativity in the front of the church over to our house, Mama. The baby Jesus from the manger is right next to her dog bowl!”
By this time my husband was pulling on his pants and tying his shoes at the same time! “Get everyone up!” he yelled. “We’ve got to get Jesus back where He belongs before church this morning!”
So here goes our family of six down to the church yard in a variety of thrown-on clothing to right the wrong our dog had done! With flashlights in hand, we found Mary and Joseph face down in the snow with icicles on their noses; the sheep and lambs strewn throughout the graveyard; the camels on their sides; and the wise men… well they were not looking too wise!
We put the band of characters back in their rightful places, gently placed baby Jesus in the manger, tied Daisy to the garage and returned home exhausted but thankful that all this had been discovered before Sunday School at 10:00am.
I’ve thought about that episode many times in my life. Jesus was in our driveway. We all scurried to put Him back in the manger, but really, Jesus wants to be in the driveway of our lives! Oh dear sister how true that is! He is everywhere we are. He came to us so that we might know Him and the love of His Father in heaven.
He is in our homes, in our churches and in the places that we work. He is as near as whispered prayer and He is ever present as we ask Him to fill our lives and our minds with His Spirit. What a friend we have in Jesus! Oh how He loves you and me! Learn to listen to God. Find a regular time and place. Claim a corner of your world for God.
Open your bible that He may speak to you through His word. Let Christ have you. Then you will find Him a lot closer than your driveway. You will find Him in your heart!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being close to us no matter where we are. Help us when we are tempted to put you in a box to understand that you are all powerful, all knowing and ever present. Holy Spirit, guide us as we worship you in all that we do and take you with us in our hearts wherever we go. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!
© 2017 by Dawn Neely. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 12 December 2017.