This year I drug it ALL out, all the Christmas decorations we own. Last year was left to a bare minimum as we were busy cleaning up after the fire at our business. This year, if it’s red, green, gold or jingles it is on display.
This includes my small nativity collection. At one time I collected nativities a little more seriously. I will still pick one up if it is unique or as a souvenir from travels. I have nativities from Haiti, Indonesia, Honduras, and Guatemala. A glass one from my grandfather, an ugly, cheap set from Wal-Mart (the first one I bought when I was on my own), and a special one hand painted by my mother in law among others.
If you were to visit our home this Christmas season, you would notice something different about many of these sets. Nearly all of them are in circles. Baby Jesus is in the middle with his parents, the shepherds, wise men, angel and often even the donkey and sheep all around him. Usually you can’t even see Jesus at all for the crowd that is gathered around him.
My son, Peyton, first began this practice years ago when he was around five. I let him set out my old nativity and he bunched it all up in a circle. The control freak in me spread them out neatly like we all envision the scene should look in our minds. I came back a little later and found the circle in place again. This happened a few times and finally I asked Peyton why he kept doing this. He quite logically stated that Jesus is most important and everyone would have wanted to be near him.
Boom. Schooled by a little boy.
How could I argue with such perfect reasoning? We have had circular nativities in our home ever since.
In a child’s mind this is so very obvious. Why would it be any other way? Jesus is who we celebrate at Christmas and everyone should be giving him their utmost attention. What the heck is a birthday party for if it isn’t to honor the one with the birthday?
Another great example of why Jesus says, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belong the kingdom of God.” Luke 10:14. So often children get it when adults do not; more sadly, often it is us adults who add in all the excess and confusion to this time of year. Mucking up the purity of the season with excess worldly traditions and materialism.
How about you? Are you striving to see Christ more clearly this time of year, or are you too busy striving for the best prices and best looking home? Are you determined to get closer to God Almighty or are you more excited to get closer to family and friends. Are you looking forward to feasting on the Word of God or feeding your flesh with all the treats?
These are tough questions but we have to be real with ourselves. There is no sense wasting time playing outside with the sheep when Jesus is right inside the stable. Get in there!
Christ is supreme above all. “For by him all things were created…all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16. We are included as something made “for him”, therefore our existence needs to revolve around Jesus. Does that describe your life?
As in Peyton’s nativity where everyone is crowding around Jesus; we need to do the same. Don’t settle for getting “close enough”, don’t settle for just a glimpse from a distance. You can bet those shepherds were vying for position as they tried to get close to Jesus that night in Bethlehem. They had just been visited by a host of angels proclaiming this wonderful news. However it wasn’t until after seeing this baby King for themselves that they began “glorifying and praising God.” Luke 2:20.
“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8. Draw closer to your Savior this season, pushing all obstacles and excuses (no matter how legit you think they are) out of your way until you see him clearly. Only then can you bow your knees and truly adore him.
Ladies, you are in a mighty position as keeper of the home to ensure it honors God. Maybe it’s time to circle your nativity; more importantly, circle yourself and your home around Jesus Christ this Christmas.