This is, hands down, my favorite Christmas decoration. I always feel a sense of reverence and awe when I take it out of the box and arrange the beautiful scene.
As I look at the way in which each of the figures is thoughtfully admiring the new babe, the words of a popular Christmas song come to my mind:
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
Even the animals who were there to witness the miraculous event joined the humble shepherds, the majestic wise men and the caring Joseph in adoring their new king – their Savior.
Being a mother, I am especially drawn to the figure of Mary, who is tenderly cradling her newborn son – God’s newborn son whom she had the privilege to give birth to.
I can only imagine the feelings that she had on that first Christmas night. In Luke 2:19, we get only a glimpse:
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
I wonder what things she pondered. Did she reflect on the miraculous way in which this perfect child had come into her life? Did she feel a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of raising him? Did she look to the future and wonder how he would save mankind and what her role would be in preparing him for that foreordained mission? Or did she simply hold him close, gaze into his eyes and relish in the humble perfection of the moment?
As we begin the busiest month of the year, my prayer is that each of us will pull ourselves away from the holiday frenzy for long enough to ponder the miraculous events of that night more than 2000 years ago. May we remember that the real magic of the season revolves around the magnificent simplicity of a manger, a young mother, and a baby who was born in the most humble of circumstances, even though he was born to save the world.
May we all keep Christ in Christmas this year.
This short video sums it up nicely. Take a moment to watch, if you can.