On Christmas Eve 2003, noted painter Makoto Fujimura gathered with other artists for a party at Sato Museum in Tokyo. Many had donated their works for a benefit exhibit to raise money for children in Afghanistan. After the meal, Mr. Fujimura, an ardent Christian who lives in New York, shared some words about the true meaning of Christmas and their opportunity as artists to create works that help bring hope into the world.

Reflecting on that event, Fujimura wrote: “I was convinced, that evening in Tokyo, that Jesus invited Himself to be among artists who may not even know His name. Some of these artists, I suspect, have already sensed His presence in their studios as they labored to create peace via their paintings. All gifts of creativity, like the Magi’s [star], point straight to a stable in Bethlehem.”

Paul said that God is at work among people of all nations “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28).

We should be alert for the Lord’s presence where we least expect to see Him. Jesus may invite Himself to any Christmas party. After all, it’s His birthday.