It was not pretty. And definitely not fancy or shiny or glowing in any way. Sometimes a sheep would end up on the roof of the stable. The donkey was often front and center. The standing wise men and Joseph toppled frequently on their sides. Baby Jesus seemed to wander the house from table to chair to the kitchen floor where other toys scattered underfoot.
My busy, inquisitive toddler knew this was his nativity scene and it started out set up on a low table so he could easily reach, examine and move each piece. It ended up, well, scattered throughout our lives.
I put the little nativity, with the hard ceramic bodies and crudely painted faces on the low, easily-accessible table for my baby to understand he was part of the story. I wanted him to understand Baby Jesus came to Earth from heaven specifically to grow up and be part of regular, everyday, dirty, messy, scattered life and was as comfortable on the floor playing with us as He is being exalted on the mantle surrounded by gold and silver and lights. I wanted my baby to feel that he was part of the unlikely, humble story of hope and promise and forgiveness and unconditional love.
The Story is for You
God wanted His babies to be part of the story so much that He actually conceived it, created it and made it happen. He put the very stars in motion, set up an extensive family history and activated the most glorious of angels and the hard-working, pasture-dwelling shepherds in a particular way, to line up at a certain time—all for you (His child) and the rest of the world, to know.
Jesus is not intimidated by messy and stinky lives. It’s how His started out.
Jesus is not put off by rejection or pain or temptation. He has experienced it all.
Jesus has a personal understanding of how heaven and Earth line up to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives in outlandish, unlikely ways.
Get Into The Story
The Christmas story is just one act in the middle of the story. The story encompasses all of history and is full of scenes of promise, hope, sin, forgiveness, miscommunication, pain, redemption and unconditional love. Most importantly, the Christmas story is one act in the middle of a story about a God who has literally moved heaven and Earth for a relationship with each of us.
Be Part of the Story
To be part of the story, all we do is recognize that the story of Jesus’ ENTIRE life was for us to be and live the way God made for us to be and live—free from the everyday sin and pain of this world. There is much more, though! The story of our lives with Jesus is not just about freedom FROM pain and sin, it’s also about freedom FOR joy, peace, goodness, love and too many wonderful things to list here. It would take an entire book to share all that Our Perfect Parent has for His children who believe. Be part of the story today. Embrace all He has for you as His creation and as His much-loved child. He has lined up heaven and Earth to fulfill your purpose, too.
Larisa Lambert Mills