Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Navitity Tradition

My first Christmas at the Gill's, I noticed that my mother-in-law's nativity set had a few more participants than the usual baby Jesus, shepherds, wise men, and angels. As I looked I noticed that there were little figures from all over the world gathered around the manger. (Anyone who knows my in-laws knows that they are not the stay at home types, and they've been to countless countries.) Wooden figures from Russia, little dolls from Germany, a Maltese knight, a dainty Chinese girl, and I think even Bart Simpson showed up in the nativity that year.

Cynthia commented that every knee would one day bow to the King of Kings. I saw her nativity not as an event that transpired 2000 years ago, but as an event that is happening in the present and will happen again someday in the future. People from all over the world bring their honor to Christ as the shepherds did. People from all over the world bring gifts to Jesus as the wise men did. Like the "Little Drummer Boy" who had nothing to give but playing his drum for Jesus, I have nothing to give but my few talents and my life in service.

So now we collect little figurines from the corners of the earth to represent the peoples who honor and WILL honor our Lord Jesus Christ with us. I can't wait to show Abigail all the countries represented in our Nativity and explain how people all over the world love Jesus!

(As a side note, I wanted this particular image in my post. I remembered it was called "Adoration of the Magi" by Fabriano. I'm pretty pumped that I was able to recall something from my Art History major...)


Jon G said...

Two things I like about this:
(1) Fabriano's image not only gets Jesus's age correct (visit happening not at the manger, but once he is about 2 yrs old), but also includes the entourage that most certainly would have accompanied the magi - they were important enough for Herod to receive them, and famous enough to cause a stir - and they humbled themselves and gave great, symbolic gifts.

(2) The "nativity scene" was made possible not only because God was humbling Himself as an example - a lowly birth for the King of Kings - but He was also so excited about the birth of His Son and plan for reconciliation, that He just HAD to tell someone! So He sends angels to tell random lowly shepherds in the fields. I wish I knew exactly when Jesus was born (in terms of Jewish holidays), as that might shed more light on why God chose the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night (were they being left out of something, and God included them in something bigger?).

Cole said...

I love it!