If you were in church on Sunday you probably figured out that my family has been hit, and hit hard with the flu. As a result I seem to have lost some time in my personal Christmas preparations. One tradition that seems to have had a slower start is our Christmas Nativity tradition.
Like in many homes around Christmastime we set up a Nativity scene but what’s different is that the figurines are all over our house! The stable is set up in the dining room. The wise men can be found in the living room, since they had the greatest distance to travel. Mary and Joseph would be in the kitchen and baby Jesus was tucked away until Christmas eve. Each Sunday, during advent, Mary, Joseph and the wise men move a little closer to the manger scene.
Last night, I finally brought up the Nativity set from our basement and even though we are approaching the fourth Sunday of Advent and my children are now adults… the wisemen are in the living room, Mary and Joseph are in the kitchen and baby Jesus is safely tucked away until Christmas eve.
Do you ever wonder why we do all this? Why do we go through this Christmas journey year after year: the traditions, the tree, the nativity scenes, the fuss?
I believe the answer can be found in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Christmas is first and foremost a celebration of God’s love toward all humanity. The little baby in the manger is more than just a sweet little child. He is the image of God. He is God made flesh so that in that body he might take on the sins of the world. Jesus is God’s free gift to each of us.
This is what Christmas is about. This is why I have traveling wise men: they are a reminder to me and my family of what we have been given in Christ – GRACE.
The most amazing thing about this is that God did it for you and for me – for no other reason than His unconditional love for us. He entered into this world, took on human flesh, and died on a cross to bear our sin. God did all this so that we might enter into His presence and experience the peace, hope, joy and love that He brought into the world.
Over the next few days as the wise men make their journey across my living room, we too make the journey through advent.
Where will this journey take you and how will you respond?
Please check out the times for all our special services and plan to join us! This Sunday is a very special family service, bring the children in your life as we celebrate The Light before Christmas!