by Ken Rolheiser
Staying in the warmth of Baby Jesus

Why would we not seek the warmth of the stable at Bethlehem? Especially in this cold, harsh world? Many of us remember a time of innocent childhood when we followed mom and dad in faith to the warmth of Baby Jesus.

“Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.” (John 2:24-26).

If we did not return to the Lord this past Christmas, we still can do so as light begins to grow in January. Jesus invites us: “Come, and you will see.” (John 1:39). 

Just as Andrew heard John the Baptist’s testimony and believed, taking Simon Peter with him to meet Jesus, we too can hear Jesus’ words of invitation. “Come, and you will see.”

The prophecies of Christmas can “bring to light what is hidden in darkness.” (1Corinthians 4:5). What is hidden in us includes some weakness and sin, but also some virtuous qualities. God knows our darkness, but he also knows our light.

We have a choice. We can live lives that reflect our faith and the choice to follow Jesus in our love toward others. Let me share some examples.

Fixer-Upper Chip’s journey with Jesus started in 1975 at a Billy Graham Crusade building when he was just a one-year-old baby. Chip’s mother Gayle rededicated her life to Christ and became serious about her faith. “Even though my mom had been baptized at the age of eight, she decided to go forward to answer the invitation to believe. 

Today, Chip, Joanna and their family shine as an example of a family of faith, living a life of generosity to others. Another example comes to us through a reporter who thought he would expose the real Fred Rogers.

In his role as Mr Rogers, Fred Rogers influenced many in his exemplary treatment of others in his neighborhood. Reporter Tom Junod found genuine friendship and blessing in the friendly Mr Rogers and was moved by his simple prayer, “Thank you God.”

The result of Junod’s interview was a movie about Fred Roger’s life You are my Friend in which another gentle soul Tom Hanks played Rogers. In the final example of faith reflected in daily lives we will look at God sending a message through a song on the radio.

Brent Hairr was haunted for many years by the memory of a co-worker who’d been killed by a train. Brent always wondered if his friend had accepted Jesus. 

Brent still wondered about his friend. Was he a believer? Had he accepted Christ as his personal savior? One day Brent was headed to a meeting for work when flashing red lights at the railroad tracks stopped him. As he waited for the train to pass, he was reminded of his friend’s death. 

Brent flipped on the radio and Eric Clapton’s song “Tears in Heaven” spoke to him: "Would you know my name if I saw you in Heaven?" His friend had been a huge Clapton fan. “I no longer wondered if my friend had accepted Christ,” Brent said.

“Come and you will see.” Jesus teaches and guides us every day. If we let our light shine in the darkness, the darkness will not overcome it. (John 1:5).

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