Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas: The Manger

When we think of Christmas, what is the first thing that goes through your mind?  Is it the warmth of the season? Is it the anticipation of decorating?  Is it the excitement of all of the fun activities planned for the month?  Is it the dread of the bill coming in January?  Is it the tradition of getting your tree and decorating it?  Is it the family gatherings when you are gauranteed to see people you are related to but don't see all year?  Is it the Christmas clothes we buy to show off at the Christmas Eve service?  Is it the display of our decorations and creches?  Or is it the manger and tiny Boy lying there?

All of those other things are fine and good and have their place in our celebrations of the Christmas holiday, but they should never take precidence over the tiny Baby lying in the manger.  If it wasn't for One who appeared so small yet is able to hold the world and universe in His hands, we would not be enjoying the rest of what comes along with the Christmas season. 

It is so important for our children to also know and remember that Christmas is not about all of the gifts they will be receiving, but about the Gift that God gave us. 

Addie has been told since she was an infant that Jesus loves her and He wants to live in her heart.  I am praying that as we review the Christmas account this year that everything she has learned truly clicks, and she asks Jesus to live in her heart.  For Brian and me, that would be the greatest Christmas gift.

As of right now, she is captivated by the Nativity scene and is in love with the Baby Jesus.  When the time came for us to set up the Nativity scene, I had Addie "help" me. It is a porcelain set, so her help was limited to a certain extent.  We went to the room where the box was and we pulled out Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus (Addie carefully carried the Baby). We brought them to the sofa table and I explained the account using only those three characters.  When Jesus was born, Addie put Him in the manger. We then went back and got the shepherd.  I explained to her his part in the account.  We went back a final time for the wise men and their animals.  After explaining that we don't know how many wise men there actually were and that they came to Jesus after he was no longer in the stable, we put them on the table.

Let us make sure that our children understand and know why we celebrate this time of year.  It is also a good reminder for us as well.

Lord, thank you for the beauty of your humility and the sweetness that is held in what would appear to be an ordinary manger.  Thank you for the Git of Christmas and the joy and hope that it brings.

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