One of the songs his class will sing is a simple chorus that repeats a question over and over, finally giving the answer--
It helps the story of Jesus' birth come alive for little imaginations--a stable is not a warm place to be in the winter time. How will a new born baby stay warm?Does the baby need a blanket to keep him warm?Does the baby need a blanket to keep him warm?Does the baby need a blanket to keep him warm?I’ve got a blanket I’ll share!
I'm sure God figured out all those details on the night Jesus was born.
But I've been singing that song over and over in my mind, and the question will not leave me alone. Baby Jesus is still cold. He still needs someone to share what they have. The details of Christ's need still need to be figured out.
As I reflect on this I realize that my boys have not been exposed to much of the deep need so many live with every day. They attend a new school, filled with kids from experiences much like our own. The basic needs are met, and often there is more than enough to go around. It is not a community categorized by lack. I am struggling with how to help them see the needs of the world, when the world they live in doesn't seem to have any.
Especially as I realize that as a child, I lived in the need they haven't been exposed to.
My mom tells me of the Christmas we were so poor that all they could afford was a tree and one present each for my brother and me. The tree was a bit of a miracle. The young guy at the tree lot mistakenly sold it to them for the lowest price, not realizing it was the best one they had. My mom's old photographs show a regal pine--tall and stately, perfectly shaped. Tucked beneath its branches on Christmas morning was a bride doll and robot.
I remember the bride doll, not the lack. I remember the gift, not the need. Because every time the need was felt, God worked out the details of meeting it. When my mom was figuring out how to buy groceries, God had a choir member give her a $20 before leaving church. When I needed a winter coat and shoes, God moved the hearts of an older couple to buy them. When my brother and I needed someone to help raise us, God sent Joe into my mom's heart and our lives. I've always felt a special kinship with Jesus over that. We both got great step-dads.
So I find myself living in the question that the song asks--does the Baby in the manger need something I can share? What is it I have that can help? How am I supposed to share it? And even when there doesn't seem to be a lot of extra, is there something within my means that God can use to bless another child?
Is Jesus cold this Christmas?