“Who lives in a stable?”

“Jesus lives in the stable!”

At first I laughed at that answer my four-year-old sister gave during my impromptu lesson on animals and their habitats. But her answer kept coming back to me. Jesus lives in the stable. Was that the only place she saw Jesus come alive for me?

I rebelled at the thought. Surely she’s seen me pray many times. And hadn’t I, just the other day, read from the children’s Bible with her?

As I sifted through scenes of me hurrying around, juggling my own studies, work, and other activities, I tried to think of times when I’d actually explained Jesus to her. Of course I told her about His birth, the miracles He performed, and His life and ministry, but had I told her of the role He played as my best friend?

Did I only bring Him out with the tinsel and the baubles for the Christmas tree? Did I tuck Him away in the pages of her picture Bible when storytime was done? Or was I daily celebrating His life in such a way that my little sister knew Jesus is alive today, not living in a stable but in my heart and hers? Did she see me turning to Him when things got rough and I was nearing the end of my strength? Had I shown her how Jesus could be her best friend too—that if she gave her heart to Him, Jesus would cherish her and love her like no other could?

As another Christmas nears and the festivities begin, one thought is firmly fixed in my mind: This year—and not only at Christmas—I will celebrate the meaning of His life by being aware of His life in my own. I will take Jesus out of the stable and invite Him into my life, in everything I do. Then I can say, “Jesus was born in a stable, but He lives in my heart and home.”

You can invite Jesus into your life too:

Thank You, Jesus, for coming to our world and living like one of us, for suffering all the things that we go through so I could know my heavenly Father’s love. Thank You for dying for me, so I can be reconciled with God and have eternal life in heaven. Please forgive me for all the wrongs I’ve committed. Help me to get to know and love You in a deep and personal way. Amen.