Keeping Baby Jesus Safe

My nephew tells the story about a nun of the Pallottine Sisters who is all about keeping Jesus safe. The hospital that my nephew works at was begun by the Sisters in 1924 and is now the largest private employer in their West Virginia county. It almost did not come to be, since the first group of Pallottine Sisters would have been passengers on the Titanic, but their paperwork wasn’t in order yet, delaying their departure.

One of the five sisters who now provide spiritual comfort, prayer, and presence at the hospital, has taken upon herself the responsibility each Christmas of keeping the Baby Jesus safe. The hospital’s nativity set has been displayed for decades and is showing the signs of old age. The Baby Jesus as been around for so long that an AARP card could be tucked into His bed of hay.

And so the sister, well along in years herself, puts Him under lock and key each year until His “birth day”. For one day a year He appears in public, celebrating His birth, surrounded by all of the other participants of the Christmas story.

And then He disappears again, gently carted away by the sister to His place of residence for the next 363 days. If something would happen to the sister in the coming year, my nephew isn’t sure if anyone else knows where the Christ Child has been stored. In essence, each Christmas could be His last.

Depending on one’s spin of the situation, the analogies could be positive or negative. A person could take it in an adverse direction. That after Christmas, many of us put Jesus away in storage for the next year. We let the cuteness be displayed for a crowded Christmas Eve service or on the side table of the living room for the grandkids to play with, and then wrapped up and put safely away in a box, carried down to the basement.

Or we can take the direction that my brother-in-law (our nephew’s dad) took in the telling of the story to his Sunday School class. He ended it with the words, “So, remember to take Jesus with you, not just leave Him in the manger.” An excellent teachable moment filled with wise exhortation. Take Jesus with us and let His presence and person grow within us.

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One Comment on “Keeping Baby Jesus Safe”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Thank you for the reminder! Love the story.
    Merry Christmas to you all.


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