The Little Jesus
Here is a picture of the Infant Jesus carved in wood and in his bed of straw. But I have added some little green branches from the trees near our church. In the spring and summer the needles on the evergreen trees are soft. So here the bed of Jesus is comfortable.
Itís strange to see Jesus as a baby in June, as the summertime begins. This is how we think of him at Christmas, of course. But youíre getting a little older now and so I want to share something very important with you. We must think of the Infant Jesus everyday, not just on Christmas Day.
What happened in the cave of Bethlehem is so important: in the Little Christ of Bethlehem, God came out of the heavens to be with us more closely than ever before. This is called the INCARNATION.
Jesus was born to give Godís love a human face. He came to find us when we are lost in hatred. He came to be with us when we are afraid. He came to be with us when we are lonely. He came to be with us to show us how to make our families and friendships strong. He came to show us how to love.
We often only pay attention to people who are good at sports, or people who are loud, or who have lots of stuff, or who have big power. But we often donít see God or know God, because when God comes to us, he comes small Ė as a baby who cries and sleeps and needs food from his Mother and protection from his father. This Little Jesus is hidden away in a dark night and in the cave.
Look at this icon of Mary and the Holy Infant! The colors are wonderful and happy arenít they? Mary is like a throne. The Little Jesus is inside her, but he looks like a little man. Thatís because even when he is a tiny baby, Jesus is still the Lord.
Oh, I want Jesus to be my Lord! That means I want Jesus to be the one who helps me to make my decisions about how to live. This is called CONSCIENCE. I want to think about Jesus before I speak, before I do things. I want Jesus INSIDE me too Ė in my heart and in my mind, so that I will be changed into kindness, joy, peace, love, patience, forgiveness, welcome.
Before we go to sleep tonight, letís all have a close look at this icon and Jesus in the bed of straw and branches. Letís get the pictures into our brain so that we see the pictures even when we close our eyes. Letís all have a little conversation with this Little Christ before we turn out the light tonight! Leave some moments for him to say something too. Even the Infant Jesus is able to speak!