December 1, 2018
By Susan Hayhurst
Have you ever visited a live nativity?
One frosty December weekend when our daughters were very young, a local church orchestrated the humble scene of Christ’s birth. To help draw in passersby, the church erected a National Guard tent to house the stable.
The church’s costume closet provided appropriate outfits for all involved. Carolers greeted visitors. The church’s pastor, Aaron Wheaton, made sure there were sheep present, since he’d grown up with sheep on his parent’s farm. To add to the livestock ambiance, someone donated use of a donkey.
Pastor Aaron enlisted the help of his two young sons to serve as shepherds. A couple from the church played Mary and Joseph, and Mary held their very own swaddled infant in her arms. Of course, there was plenty of hay strewn about. Lights captured the touching sight.
While it’s poignant to set up live nativity scenes today, what’s more powerful to celebrate is the live birth of the one and only Immanuel, God with us. Luke 2: 6-7 says, “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.” Angels heralded the news while wise men came from afar to worship and bestow lavish gifts on the baby. Mary gave birth to a living, breathing baby boy who would die for us on the cross to take away our sin.
The Lord Jesus calls us to a living relationship with Him, as vibrant and amazing as his earthly birth more than 2,000 years ago. We don’t need a stable, manger, sheep or a choir. We only need quiet, precious time alone with the Savior to open our hearts to him.
Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute, Ind.
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