Sometimes rather than being drawn closer to Christ at Christmas, in a very real sense people may be drawn away from the Lord Jesus. It seems in the very midst of the celebration — we lose Jesus.

After the Christmas story in Luke 2, the Bible tells of a young, twelve-year-old Jesus going with His parents to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. As His parents were returning home after the celebration, they realized — Jesus wasn’t with them! They had lost Jesus in the midst of the celebration! Does the same thing happen to us at Christmas? How do we lose Jesus? There are five questions we need to ask ourselves.

In what sense may we lose Jesus?
It was not relationship that Mary and Joseph lost Jesus; it was fellowship. Mary was still His mother, Joseph still His earthly father. If you’re saved, you can never lose your relationship with Christ. In John 10:27, Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.

When do you receive eternal life? When you die? No, you get it when you believe! If you have eternal life, you can never lose it. If you lose it, then it wasn’t eternal!

Some people have the idea that the devil can take you out of the hand of God. That’s ridiculous! That would be a strange doctrine, wouldn’t it: going to heaven by the goodness of the devil, because he didn’t “pluck you out of God’s hand.” No, the only reason the devil hasn’t is because — he can’t! Is there a power strong enough to open the hand of Jesus, encased in the mighty hand of God the Father, and pluck out one of His own? As it says in the verse from John, you cannot lose your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, but you can lose your fellowship.

Who may lose Jesus?
Many times those people we would least expect lose fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It surprises us to see that it was Mary and Joseph who lost Him! But when you study the Bible, you find that even God’s choicest saints got out of fellowship with Him from time to time. Just look back at the accounts of Noah, David, Moses, Samson, Peter — all these and others in the Bible got out of fellowship with the Lord.

The Bible says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he stand take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). No matter who you are, you’ll never come to a place where you’re not in danger of slipping away from that close fellowship with the Lord.

Where do we lose Jesus?

They didn’t lose Him in a bar, nightclub or in some den of iniquity, but in the midst of a religious ceremony! You see, Passover was all about Jesus. Yet it was in the midst of that celebration that Mary and Joseph lost Jesus.

I'm not opposed to decorations, but have the celebrations, illuminations and decorations become our focus so much so that Jesus is kind of cramping our style a little bit at Christmas? 

I wonder if somehow we have let the very celebration of Christmas take us from the Christ of Christmas.

How may we lose Jesus?

They didn’t lose Him by opposing Him or denying Him. They lost Jesus by presumption. Mary and Joseph just assumed He was with them. They went a day’s journey, one step at a time, but every step took them farther from Him!

The Bible says when your eye is single, your body is full of light (Matthew 6:22). That means you have no side issues, nothing you’ve withheld. There is no love that is greater than your love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes we have to get alone with God and let Him peel us like an onion. I would encourage you to come to the Lord and say, “Look, I’ve come to do business. I’m not going to get up off my knees, off my face, until I know that I know that I know, it’s not a supposition, that Jesus Christ is real to me.” Take a spiritual inventory, so every step doesn’t take you farther away from Him.

How do we find Jesus again?

Mary and Joseph found Him right where they left Him, in the temple, where they first lost Him. That’s what we need to do. If Jesus Christ is not real to you, if you do not have that conscious awareness of His presence, just go back to where you first left Him.

You know where you left Him. You know where you got away from God. I believe if you open your heart to the Lord, He’ll show you where it was.  Go back to that disobedience and deal with it. Pray, “Search me, oh God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be some wicked way in me.” (Psalm 139:23-24) He will show you the way.

How tragic it would be if this Christmas you let the very celebration of His birth draw you away from Him.  Take the steps listed and make a conscious decision right now — don’t lose Christ this Christmas!