Christmas is coming and so are decorations! This year I allowed my children to set up our two separate nativity scenes. One is made by Fisher Price, meant for the children’s hands and minds to learn and play. The other was a wedding gift, a Fontanini Scene that we add a new piece to each year. The kids set to work and decorations went up. When all was said and done, the boxes were put away and I looked to the nativity to see… the backs of ALL of the animals, kings, shepherds and people.
We often see scenes set up around a central point facing inwards, left and right, or outwards so we can see each piece specifically. But the set of my children’s imagination is different. Faith like a child and elementary common sense presents us with the way it might have truly looked with Jesus at center stage. Just imagine the shepherds peering through to see the Newborn King that they were led to by a star! Would it have been enough to just see the outside of the stable? Or would you want a closer look, just like all the 6 year olds at the birthday party watching those gifts being opened?
Me? I want a closer look. I peer over the shoulders between the animal figurines just to see… is Jesus in there? (I mean… how many times has baby Jesus gone missing from the manger scene in your house? In our house, it’s a lot of times.) Then I realized, my kids gave me a moment to experience a fraction of what those there for His birth might have felt. I’m looking in, eager to see the one that has come to save us. This amazing gift that has been given to us through the birth of Christ, Forgiveness, is right there in the middle all those who came because they couldn’t wait to see Jesus for themselves.
There are many traditions when it comes to Nativity scenes. We see them all over the world! On display at homes, churches and shopping centers these iconic settings are frequent decorations. Nativity scenes are often passed down among family as heirlooms, become a tradition or hold special memories. Some families leave Jesus hidden away until Christmas Morning and others slowly move the Shepherds and Kings closer each day as Christmas approaches.
Though there are many ways to bring Christ to the forefront of our minds in a busy Christmas Season, the Nativity Scene (now destined to always have their backs to me) is just one my favorite ways. The TRUE excitement, the ULTIMATE gift that all must see – Christ our King who came as a baby for our Salvation.
My kids got it. They might not realize how profound it is to simply remember: we should ALL be facing towards Jesus.