When the boys were little, we understood why nativity sets were sometimes called activity sets. The people and animals were constantly on the move. Thirty-one years ago, I bought 4 of these nativities…one for our family and one for each of the boys to have for their family one day. This year we gave one to David and Ryen and one to Mary. We gave the nativities early so it would be one of the first gifts of the Christmas Season. As I unwrapped each piece from the tissue paper, David would set out the pieces of the nativity. Without anyone saying anything, he knew that Jesus was who everyone wanted to see. He placed baby Jesus in the center and then made a circle with the other people and animals looking in at the baby. When the last piece was handed to him, there wasn’t enough room in the circle for everyone. Instead of placing the wiseman behind the others, he moved the other figures so that everyone would be in the circle to look at baby Jesus. We didn’t take a picture that night, but I had Chad take one for me. I noticed that David had moved the figures around, but he still had the people and animals in a circle worshiping the baby in the manger.
Some things I have pondered during these days:
* I am grateful that Larry and I both had families that taught us the true meaning of Christmas, which we passed down to our boys, and now they are teaching their children.
* Even young children can know that it is important for everyone to see and worship Jesus.
* We need to be on the lookout for those outside the circle who need to be brought in so they, too, can see Jesus.
* When you come to see and worship Jesus, everyone is on equal ground.
* When you are focused on seeing Jesus, the less likely you are to dwell on the distractions of this world.
* Like the wisemen, when you look for and find Jesus, you want to worship Him, listen to the promptings of God’s Spirit, and be willing to go home a different way.
* When we acknowledge and believe in Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection and ask Him to be our Lord and Savior we are given the gifts of salvation and new life.
* Once you see Jesus, you are never the same. You want others to see and worship him, too.
* Jesus should be the center of Christmas and my life all year long.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-12
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17