This year I have driven my family are a bit mad (those of you who know me are not surprised) by deciding I wanted to put up a nativity set at home for Christmas. I am not sure if this is because of an increased awareness of the significance of the incarnation or I’m just getting old. So I began to look for one in shops and online. I found….
One where the size of the baby Jesus would have meant Mary had just given birth to a 10 year old son. That is a BIG baby. I know it was nature defying birth but really?
One had the wise men looking like they were aliens their faces were so grotesque. Then again that is the significance of the wise men, they were aliens in Jewish eyes who still recognised the birth of the One who came into the world.
Lots of sets were very childish, with faces like cartoon characters. It’s great to have things children can relate to but if the story is seen as something for children it loses relevance for adults.
One of my wife and I’s favourite days of the year is putting up Christmas decorations day. In recent years less has been more, with a bit of Christmas tack still. This year we decided to throw out lots of the old decorations we have not used for years. As we were going through one big box we found a small old box which I did not recognise but my wife did straight away, “that’s my old nativity set!” Opening it up, it ticked all the boxes – all the right looking characters in the right proportions. It was old, it had been tucked away in a corner but is now out on show for all to see.
Just as the nativity should be.
It is an old story, it happened tucked away in the corner of the Middle East but should be out on show for all to see. For the nativity sets the way to life for everyone, whether we feel we are big or small, accepted or alien, young or old.
Happy Christmas indeed.
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