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The Focus of the Nativity

December 5, 2011

As I was sorting out the boxes of Christmas decorations this year, I found my nativity set wrapped tightly in tissue paper. I asked my oldest daughter, Mary-Allison, to gently unwrap the pieces. As an almost 6-year-old, MA (as we call her) is always eager to help me with most anything (minus the clean laundry!). This year, she was especially excited to begin decorating for Christmas.

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So with all boxes of Christmas miscellaneous items to unpack, I told MA that she could unwrap the nativity set and place it on the coffee table however she wanted to. She was overjoyed that I gave her such an important task! She set right to work, and soon I heard, “Mommy! Mommy! Come see! I finished it! Doesn’t it look great?”

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I walked over to see the nativity.

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Hmmm. I don’t usually set it up like that. I usually face all the figurines outward, perfectly spaced so they look “just right” for whoever is looking at them. My first instinct was to rearrange what MA had done. But—thankfully—I stopped myself.

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Mary-Allison had placed all of the figurines—Mary, Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, the wise men, and even the animals—so that they were looking at Baby Jesus. Not outward, but inward. They were focused on the baby in the manager. They were focused on Jesus, God’s salvation come to earth.

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The way I set up the nativity is looking outward—away from Baby Jesus.

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I didn’t change MA’s nativity set. It was perfect. I have been mistaken all these years. My focus was to look “just right” to all who were looking in. MA’s focus was where it should be—on Jesus.

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Where is your focus? Is your focus off Jesus? Is it on the hustle-bustle of the season? Is it to look like the perfect family to anyone passing by?

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Or is your focus on Jesus?

The baby born in a manger.

The Son of God who came to earth to save us from our sins.

The Savior of the world.

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Where is your focus this Christmas season? Place it on JESUS.

 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NIV)

 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2011 11:41 am

    What a great story. Kids really have an ability to see things as they are/ should be!

    • December 5, 2011 4:18 pm

      Yes, it’s amazing how innocent they are, but that’s how we as adults should be, too!

  2. bethkvogt permalink
    December 5, 2011 3:26 pm

    Such a smart mom!
    I too have had to learn to step back and not touch what my children create. Sometimes I’ve unintentionally destroyed beauty.
    One of the ways I’m keeping my focus on Jesus this year is by creating an Advent calendar using the Praying in Color technique created by Sybil MacBeth.

    • December 5, 2011 4:19 pm

      Beth, I just looked up Sybil MacBeth…how neat! I love the idea of doing the Advent calendar in that technique! This year, our family is doing the Jesse Tree, which has turned out to be great so far!

  3. Cheri permalink
    December 5, 2011 6:51 pm

    She expressed her heart without a word, but the results spoke volumes! Absolutely precious 🙂

  4. December 8, 2011 9:46 am

    Amazing. I loved this. Actual tears, here. Your daughter has it right and I am SO glad you could see that and let it be. What a beautiful photo! What a touching and true way to arrange the images!

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