My wife really likes Nativity Scenes. Over the years she has been given
or collected eight or nine different sets. These sets are each unique
representing different cultures and styles but they all depict the familiar characters gathered around baby Jesus on that Holy Night.
When our kids where younger they
loved getting out these Manger Scenes and setting them up around our
house. A few of the sets where more delicate and not quite as kid
friendly. These were typically placed in more secure areas, above the
reach of curious little hands. We always made sure to put one of the
sturdier sets down on the lower shelf of our bookcase, this was the
“Kid’s Nativity Scene.” I walked by this bookcase every morning as I
headed out for work.
I began noticing that the kid’s Nativity Scene was always messed up. We had
instructed our young children to look at the scene, but to be careful
when they touched it. They were so fascinated by what they saw, they
had trouble not picking up the characters and holding them. They
wanted to touch them, stare at them and play with them.
They were most fascinated by Baby Jesus and he was always missing from
the manager. Almost every day during the Christmas season I found
myself stopping at the bookshelf while trying to get out the door to
work. The question became a morning ritual, “Where is baby Jesus?”
The hunt for Baby Jesus became part of my morning routine. Once I
found him in Emma’s dollhouse having Tea with Whinny the Pooh. Another
time I found him in Jacob’s Firetruck strategically placed between
Spiderman and Yoda. Once he was between the seat cushions on the
couch, where someone had probably fallen asleep still holding him. My kids were
not just messing up the Nativity Scene, they were messing up my morning
routine and schedule.
My children were in fact helping me ask a very important question,
particularly at Christmas, ” where is baby Jesus?” The Wise Men were
asking this question on their long and faithful journey to the Manger. The young shepherds
in Luke’s Gospel account were also looking for baby Jesus. They were
as fascinated as my young children, starring into the manger, unable
to look away from the scene before them.
I on the other hand was BUSY. I had with work to do, plans to make,
parties to attend. Christmas is often the busiest time of the year.
It’s easy to lose track of Baby Jesus with so much going on. If you want to find baby Jesus, be a Wise Man, not a Busy Man.
Be amazed with wonder like the Shepherds who ran to see and marvel at this Good News.
Not everyone finds Baby Jesus at Christmas. He often shows up in unexpected places, tucked away in the ordinary,
disguised as someone small weak or vulnerable, keep asking and looking until you find him.
Make sure your daughter knows and remembers the real Joy and the real Hope we Celebrate at Christmas.
Dr. Don Worcester