The other day I discovered my four-year-old lying on her back in the middle of the hallway, staring at the ceiling, and muttering to herself about presents. She's a typical kid before Christmas: glazed-over with anticipation.
Underneath our tree rests a manger scene. Over the past few weeks, the figurines have been scattered around the house. Mary is found on the kitchen floor, a camel appears underneath the table, a wise man surfaces in the bathroom. Yet my kids always seem to know where Baby Jesus is.
This morning I overhear the girls talk as they crowd around the manger and form a new configuration with the characters. "We need to put Baby Jesus right in the center," my oldest states.
No one argues.
"He's the most important piece," the four-year-old adds.
They might not yet fully grasp the significance of their statements, but the truth isn't lost on me.
Put Jesus in the center. He's the most important piece.