I went through the Christmas lights in the park last month. Our small community does a great job. This year, it seemed to be even better than usual. At the end of the drive, each car has the opportunity to vote for their favorite. Mine? Supersized Jesus.
Okay, so it was actually not a supersized Jesus. But it was a supersized manger with his name behind it. There was something so striking about it. It wasn’t monstrous among the other displays, since many trees were decorated and towered above. I think many people probably drove by it and quickly dismissed it. Let’s be honest: Jesus sort of gets downplayed and ignored, even at Christmas.
It’s not that he needs to make a grand appearance. He’s typically subtle. He often doesn’t demand attention. He is present enough, always available and involved. He’s persistent but in ways we don’t completely understand. Depending on where we are in our faith, we experience him in different ways. Some ignore him. He is not a part of their world, and they don’t consider him. Others blame him when it’s convenient. They typically ignore him, but when something bad happens, they give him blame. Others are surprised by him. He isn’t what they expect as they get to know him. Others continually get closer to him, wrestle through the tough stuff with him, and experience his conviction and comfort as an ebb and flow of everyday life.
As I later looked at the photo I took of the display, I marveled at how normal-sized the display seemed without context of everything around it. That happens with the real Jesus, too. When we determine his context in our lives instead of trusting him to define himself, we have a distorted view.
Supersized Jesus? Maybe the display appealed to me because I feel as if that’s what he does to my heart, mind, and soul. He supersizes it all—everything good in my life. And I love that about him.