By Amanda Warren
My son’s Nativity setup revealed a fresh perspective of the Christmas story.
It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and my 6-year-old son, Cole, was eager to decorate our house for Christmas. One of our family’s favorite Christmas decorations is a ceramic Nativity set that my husband and I received as a wedding gift. Since this was the first year I was allowing Cole to set it out on the sideboard cabinet in the dining room, I instructed him to be extremely careful handling the figurines and gave him some vague directions on the “correct” way to arrange a Nativity scene.
I unpacked a few boxes of decorations in the family room and then returned to the dining room to check on Cole’s progress. He had finished setting out the Nativity scene and was proudly standing by the sideboard. When I looked over at the scene, my first thought was, Uh-uh! Not set up correctly.
As everyone knows, the correct placement is for baby Jesus to be in the center with Mary and Joseph on each side, the shepherds and wise men placed in a semi-circle around them, the animals on the periphery, and the angel hovering in the background.
What Cole created was Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, the angel, and even the animals all completely encircling the manger and very, very close to the baby Jesus.
At that moment, the Holy Spirit revealed a part of the story I had never considered: Everyone who gathered around the manger wanted to draw close. They were in awe. They wanted to see and touch and be close to the King of kings. Cole’s interpretation of the Nativity scene was far more accurate than mine.
With a lump in my throat, I reached down and gave Cole a hug and said, “Thank you. It looks perfect.”
I hope this Christmas season that you, too, will draw close to the greatest gift humanity has ever received and that you will be open to something new God wants to share with you about the birth of His Son, Jesus.
Amanda Warren lives in Raleigh, N.C., with her husband, Brooks, and two sons, Seth and Cole. She is an active member of Trinity Baptist Church where she teaches Sunday School and Bible skills classes to children. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading, and walking her dog, Roxy.
This article originally appeared in the December, 2012 issue of Home Life. Subscribe