I’m always amazed during the Christmas holiday season when crime and thuggery capture the headlines. Last year the “hot thing” for the criminal element in society to do to celebrate Baby Jesus was to hunt down giant, inflatable, fabric Snowmen, Santa Clauses and Angels and slash them with knives to deflate their delight.
The owners of the happiness inflatables would patch the wounds and blow them up again — only to have them knifed and deflated overnight.
It was an ongoing and vicious cycle of stabbing and repairing. This year, the temptation for the criminal element has been to steal the Baby Jesus from His crib in public nativities.
The circle of stealing and replacement of the Baby Jesus becomes the height of ridiculousness and absurdity with the reported installation of a GPS device in a Florida Baby Jesus to track Him beyond His crèche.
A statue of the infant Jesus on display near Miami in Florida is being fitted with a Global Positioning System device after the original figurine was stolen.
I’ve read about other communities lashing their replacement Baby Jesuses (Jesusii?) to His manger with nylon tie-downs and chains and one community in rural Nebraska even used barbed-wire to bind Baby Jesus to His crib! Imagine the ensuing dialogue with me:
CHURCH OFFICIAL: D-oh! He’s gone missing!
BABY JESUS BINDER: Arisen from the crib again, eh?
CHURCH OFFICIAL: Now it’s time for some serious ball-busting! Take this and shove it in Him.
BABY JESUS BINDER: Uh-huh… so… where should I stick this GPS tracker?
CHURCH OFFICIAL: Well it won’t fit in His ear!
BABY JESUS BINDER: I’ll put it in His tummy, then.
CHURCH OFFICIAL: Now you’re messing with the whole idea of Immaculate Conception! Don’t ruin Christmas! It’s his birthday, for Crisssakes!
BABY JESUS BINDER: You’re not saying…
CHURCH OFFICIAL: Up the bum, it is!
My final question is this: “If someone wants the Baby Jesus so much to lift Him from His crib — for whatever reason — shouldn’t they be allowed to have Him as needed?” Why do we immediately criminalize the want to take the Baby Jesus home? Might something more mysterious be afoot?
Perhaps there are deeper needs He’s serving than just selfishly basking in the glowing display from His manger in the dead cold of the overnight. How do we know the Baby Jesus isn’t calling out to the forsaken and to the heartbroken and inviting them to take Him home for solace and comfort in their time of unhappiness?
Tracking the Baby Jesus with a GPS device, lashing Him with nylon ties, and binding Him with barbed-wire seems to me — as your most devout, loyal, atheist
— to be the most anti-Baby Jesus behavior imaginable… and yet easy access to Him is sponsored by the very people who claim they want you to come and adore Him.
You came. You saw. You adored. You took Him home.
Isn’t that the whole point of Christianity?
Even if the intent was to remove Baby Jesus with malice — who better to fight that evil than the love and the warmth of: The Baby Jesus? We hope future “Our Baby Jesus is Missing!” reports are created with wonder and a welcome knowing that there are enough of Him, and what He represents, to go around, and that every public nativity scene will have a small sign saying — “Take One, They’re Free!” — posted at the foot of every manger. What will next year’s criminal “hot thing” holiday intent hold? Here’s my early line: “Santa on a Cross.”