Sunday we celebrated the Nativity, each invited to bring a small scene to church... to display and share. I love the stories...a gift, a childhood memory, a first grown-up memory. Every one has its own story... just as we have our own. As I unwrap my pieces, yet again, and place them back under their starry sky, I wonder... I wonder about that first journey to the manger.
Placing Mary front and center I stop and realize that she must not have wanted that place of attention, certainly had not ever dreamed it. And there she rests... probably wearier than she has ever been in her entire life. And aching from her journey to Bethlehem, and His journey to the earth. I cannot imagine that she minded being in the stable... any place to sit and finally rest.
I unwrap Joseph and set him beside her. Strong, reliable Joseph. Oh to know, what he must have carried in his heart along the dusty road. Perhaps a curious confusion of surrender and uncertainty. And I wonder... if awe overcame him and erased any lingering doubts when Jesus was placed in his arms for the very first time.
To the right, I scatter the sheep and the shepherd. How many hundreds of steps did they stumble, following that star? Surely some must have have thought they were still sleeping and it was all a dream. The angels, the brilliant glory in the sky... but then, to see Love nestled in the straw! My own eyes would have been wide and awestruck... piecing together the bits of the journey, and knowing the glory of what I was witness to.
And even though the wise men are rumored to have been very late to the gathering... I set them to the left. One. Two. Three. Each bearing a gift. Carrying such precious gifts for so many miles... already knowing that this baby was the King of Kings. As I arrange the camel just so, I wonder about my own gift. What do I have that would be worthy? Nothing less than my whole heart.
I stand back and take in the whole scene... and I smile. And maybe a tear rolls down my face. He did not come with all the glory that He deserved... and it might seem strange for the King of Kings to begin His life on earth in a lowly stable... but what if He had arrived amidst festivals and all that glitters in a palace? Would I have known that He came for me?
And the first time that you opened your eyes
Did you realize that you would be my Savior?
And the first breath that left your lips
Did you know that it would change the world forever?
And I celebrate
The day that you were born to die
So I could one day
Pray for you to save my life.
-Reliant K, I Celebrate the Day