Each year after Thanksgiving, I get out my large olive-wood nativity scene purchased in Bethlehem many years ago and decide how to arrange the pieces. Should I go for tradition or variety? Usually I put the manger scene pieces themselves on one bookshelf in the den, the shepherds, and angels on others. But—to be biblical—I place the wise men away from the manger. Sometimes I put them in another room, thinking my grandchildren might ask why. Then I can teach them that because of their long journey the wise men weren’t at the manger; they arrived much later and found “a young child” in a house (Mt. 2:11).
Most of us use Nativity scenes as part of our Christmas decorating to remind us of the real reason for the season. They help break up—but can sometimes seem lost among—the numerous Santas, reindeer and snowmen that surround us. This year, to add to several other scenes I have, I bought a unique small ceramic one-piece scene that has a platform on which the word “Faith” is spelled out. The large “A” in the middle forms the stable/shelter under which Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the manger reside. It seemed a good reminder of what the season should be about: Faith.
I work part-time at a Senior Community that is owned by a church and was built and had its first Christmas last year. When the management was asked what kind of Christmas decorations the residents could help provide for the new building, they wisely decided on Nativity scenes. Now scenes of all sizes, colors and styles make the building more beautiful and emphasize Faith.
This year Mentoring Moments decided on the theme of Nativity Scenes for our 12 Days of Christmas emphasis. By that title we’re not talking about the wood, ceramic or plastic scenes that we put on mantels and tables. Instead, our writers are emphasizing 10 scenes or scenarios that surround the announcement of and birth of Jesus and how it affected those around Him near and far. The writers have done a wonderful job of reminding us of some of the backstory of the first Christmas as well as the story itself. As you read the brief devotionals each day, you may learn some things you never knew about Christmas, or you may reaffirm some of the details of the old story that never really grows old. Each one ends with “TO PONDER IN YOUR HEART.” Our prayer is that, as Mary pondered the wonderful things she had been told in her heart, you too will find some thoughts that encourage you and fill you with wonder this year.
I and the Mentoring Moments staff want to wish you a very Blessed Christmas.