I enjoy decorating. I want my home to be comfortable and pleasant for us and for visitors year ’round. When the last of our Thanksgiving turkey goes to the refrigerator, my husband recognizes a certain twinkle in my eye, that calls him to go upstairs and gather our boxed Christmas decorations we collected (well, I collected) over our four decades of marriage.
He dutifully brings down the things packed up so carefully just a couple of months ago – at least it seems that way the more birthdays I have behind me. I sort through the boxes and spread them out to their proper rooms – things for the tree, things for the kitchen, things for outside, and the nativity sets.
Usually, the tree goes up first and those emptied boxes go back to the attic. Then I adorn the outside and the kitchen, and finally put out Jesus. It’s not that Jesus doesn’t have priority, or is an after thought. It’s more that I want to take my time with Him. I feel “obligated” to get up a tree and a wreath on the door, but I want to take time with the nativity to contemplate them, their surroundings, and how it all relates to me today.
This particular nativity set isn’t really a set. Well, six of the pieces came as a set – the holy family Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and the three wise men. Those were gifted to me early in my marriage by my parents. My husband built the stable. Over the next few years, I went to a little ceramic shop and painted a piece or two to add to it. So, for a number of years it changed as I added an angel, animals, and other people.
While my husband will tell you I leave a glitter trail around me this time of year, I also include the coarse burlap, moss hanging on the rooftop, and simple greenery. I need that reminder. Maybe you do too.
Christmas is not about glitter – though His glory is magnificent.
Christmas is not so much about this new life, as His death and resurrection that would bring life to so many.
Christmas is the fulfillment of prophecy from long ago in Micah 5:2
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
Not a booming metropolis or palace of earthly kings, but in a little town, overrun with visitors. No room for even one more in the local inn, but the innkeeper allowed them to use a stable, all he had to offer. Some believe it might have been a cave-like setting. How fitting that the Creator of the universe chose to come in human form among that which He created rather than any structure man assembled. His arrival came among the stones, the animals, the open sky, and allowed shepherds to come freely to worship Him.
So, this is my rustic nativity. I have others, more glamorous, more “color-coordinated,” more glittery, but this one is special to me. It helps me contemplate how He fulfilled the plan from before He created the earth, and what His life, death and resurrection brought to me. To you.
How great is this Child. This holy infant born in Bethlehem.
I pray today, that you know Him, and your heart and your home reflect Him.
I pray you cling to the truths of Who He is and why He came, even amid all the glittery trappings around us.
I pray you take time to reflect on Him, and renew your committment to use all your remaining days to honor, to glorify Him.
I pray you and I both have many opportunities this Christmas season to share about Him.