Several days ago, while Nick and I were doing our nightly clean-up of the house, he mentioned to me how much he loved how the boys set up the Little People Nativity set each night. He had noticed something I had not – while they each had different ways of setting the characters up, there was one constant: everyone was always looking at the baby Jesus!
Below you’ll see Chase’s set up (from that night that Nick pointed it out to me).
Thanks to a discussion earlier that week, Chase had set the kings further back. We had passed a nativity scene in front of a house in our neighborhood, and I told them that on Christmas morning the three kings would be right next to the manger, instead of further back. The boys thought it was cool that the homeowners had them further back, to depict the kings still following the star, searching for Jesus.
And there are the rest of the people and animals, all looking at Jesus!
The next night we asked Ty to set up the set. We didn’t tell him “why” (that I wanted pictures of it), just told him it was his “pick-up” job for the night. While he didn’t set up the three kings further back, once again we noticed that everyone was looking at Jesus!
Ok, maybe everyone except that donkey. Ha! I don’t know why he was looking the other way, but it amused me when I noticed it.
And notice the green-haired blue dragon and stuffed kitty have made an appearance at the manger this night!
Finally, last night I asked Jackson to set it up. He protested, and I finally had to confess to him that I really needed him to do it, because I wanted to take a picture of his set-up. Then he gleefully agreed and said “I’m going to make everyone looking at Jesus!” (And no, I had not told him that was the big reason I wanted the picture!)
We’ve got that dragon again, along with a snowman, a Chick-Fil-A cow, a race car, an ornament, and a book looking.
I love the little reminder my children inadvertently gave me (and now you) this Christmas season. Always look at Jesus!
With everything that happened in Newtown, CT a little over a week ago, I feel like this is an especially good reminder. The last 10 days has been a mixture of darkness and anxiety, and excitement and anticipation. Parents have hugged their children harder than usual, and we’ve shed tears over the lives and innocence that was lost. Remembering to always be looking at Jesus has helped with my perspective and peace.
Darkness cannot push back darkness, only light can. Kindness, goodness, gentleness, peace: all of those attributes (and more) that the baby born more than 2,000 years ago sought to bring. Remember to look at Jesus this Christmas, but don’t let it be a one-day thing. Continue looking and help push back the darkness!
(My pastor wrote a wonderful blog post about Newtown, and at the bottom of the post is a link to his sermon from last weekend. It is a powerful sermon, and one I recommend everyone take a listen to. The light and insight he sheds on the topic is priceless. Check out his “No, Everything Doesn’t Happen for a Reason” post here.)
Merry Christmas to you all! I hope the next two days are filled with family, friends, love and laughter! God bless you all!