If you’re not careful, you may lose Jesus this year during the Christmas season.  Rather than Christmas drawing people closer to Christ, it’s been my observation that our eyes get distracted by parties and gifts. Many times there’s a let-down in our prayer life, soul winning, and witnessing. In the very midst of the Christmas celebration, we lose the Lord Jesus.

Now we can never “lose” Him in the sense of our relationship with Him.  Once God puts His mighty hands around you through Jesus Christ, no power on earth, in heaven above, in hell beneath, “nor any other creature will be able to separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). When you become a child of God, you’re His forever.  

But there’s a difference between relationship and fellowship, and if you lose Him in the sense of fellowship, you’re going to be sorrowful. That’s what happened to Mary and Joseph in Luke 2. After a wonderful Passover trip to Jerusalem, they went a day’s journey without realizing that Jesus was not with them! When they returned and found Him they said, “We have sought thee sorrowfully.” There’s always sorrow when we lose fellowship with Jesus Christ. The most miserable person on earth is not a lost person but a saved one out of fellowship with Jesus.

Who lost Him?

Mary and Joseph were the two most intimately associated with Him!  All of us are in danger of losing fellowship. We should heed the apostle Paul’s warning, “Let him that thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Some of God’s best saints — Noah, David, Samson, Peter — have done it. The closer you are to Jesus, the more fire you’re going to get from the devil. He aims his biggest guns at God’s best.

When did they lose Him?

In the midst of a religious celebration (v. 41). The Passover was symbolic of Jesus and, irony of ironies, it was at the Passover that they lost Him. If you’re not careful, you may do the same — lose the Christ of Christmas in the midst of Christmas.

You can lose Him in strange places. You can backslide with a Bible under your arm. Has the Bible become a textbook to you rather than the precious Word of God? You can lose your sense of the Lord Jesus while working on the Christmas music and doing all the festivities of Christmas.

I heard of a little girl who loved her daddy so much she wanted to make him a special Christmas present — some slippers. This little girl and her dad had a close relationship. Often she would sit on his lap, he would tell her stories, and she would hug his neck. But wanting the present to be ready for Christmas, she did not sit in daddy’s lap and he didn’t get to tell her stories, because every evening after supper she’d run up the stairs to her room, day after day, working on that present. Finally on Christmas Day she presented him those slippers. Of course, he acted grateful. He didn’t tell her, but in the back of his mind he thought, I’d much rather have had the fellowship with my little girl than these slippers she was making. I wonder if sometimes the very things we’re doing for Christ may be what keep us from Christ. 

Jesus had rather have you sit at His feet than sing in the choir. He’d rather you spend quiet time with Him alone on your knees than be in church. I’m not against being in church or singing in the choir.  But if you’re not careful, the things you do become a substitute for your love for Christ. They can come between you and the Lord.

How they lost Him

Mary and Joseph, “supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey” (v.44). Are you supposing the Lord Jesus is with you?  Have you really checked?  Do you know?  Does God’s Spirit bear witness with your spirit that Jesus is a bright, living reality to you?  You can come to church, hear sermons, take notes, use your Bible, sing hymns, give money — and not be in fellowship with Christ, but suppose you are!  It’s dangerous to think we’re right with God when we’re not. 

Samson rose up to fight the Philistines “knew not that the Spirit of God had departed from him.” The church at Laodicea “knew not” it was “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.” 

Take inventory. If God’s Spirit is not vibrant in your heart, if there was ever a time when you loved Jesus Christ more than you love Him at this moment, to that degree you’re backslidden.

People backslide one step at a time. Mary and Joseph lost him one step at a time. They walked away, taking for granted He was with them when He was not.

Where did they find Him again?

Right where they left Him. You’re going to find Him where you left Him. Jesus is right there. You’re the one who moved. 

You might have left Him when you started neglecting the secret place of prayer. You’ll find Him when you go back to that secret place of prayer. You might have started neglecting the house of worship. That’s where you’ll find Him. You might have left Him when some grudge arose in your heart toward someone in your family. You’ll find Him when you go back and make that right. You may have left Him when some grievous sin or habit came. You’re going to find Him where you left Him.

How can you lose Jesus? By losing fellowship. Who may lose Jesus? Those who might least expect to lose Him. When may you lose Him? Sometimes in the middle of religious celebrations.  How do you lose Him? Going away one step at a time. Where are you going to find Him? Right back where you lost Him.

Let these simple thoughts be a warning to our hearts in this Christmas season. And help us, Lord, not to get so wrapped up in the things of Christmas that we lose You in the midst of the celebration.