Three Lessons from the Nativity Scene
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
It’s the best time of the year. The lights are up, the Christmas (palm) trees are lit up, and the somewhat cool south Florida air is letting us know it is Christmas. As we focus on the reason for the season we will take a closer look at what we could learn from the Nativity scene.
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12 NLT
Traditionally, a Nativity scene includes: Jesus the Messiah (personal gift of salvation) Mary & Joseph - (virgin mother, adoptive father), Shepherds - who had been nearby watching their flock, Magi or Wisemen - visitors from the East, and Angels - also known as heavenly hosts. Despite the tradition of seeing all of these characters together in the Nativity scene, it is important to know that it is Biblically inaccurate. The gospels of Luke and Matthew address the accounts of the birth of Jesus; however, neither of the writers specify that the Magi and the shepherds nearby were all there at the same time. Some children’s books and nativity plays/movies also feature farm animals as part of the Nativity scene. However, Biblically there is no mention of what animals were present. Nonetheless, the Nativity scene depicts a true story of the birth of Jesus our Savior. He is the greatest gift one could personally receive and share with others - the gift of salvation.
Lesson #1: A servant’s faith-walk
Have you ever wondered what Mary and Joseph were thinking and feeling? From the moment she received word she would carry the Messiah as a virgin - she did not hesitate to be a humble servant of God. Joseph is also able to showcase his own faith-walk, by taking on the role of the adoptive, earthly father figure to the Messiah. Despite his own culture and worldview said about his situation, Joseph showed Mary love, respect, and accepted God’s plan over their life. Ultimately, they both agreed to this journey, not knowing all the answers and trusting God for all of their needs each step of the way. Therefore, as parents, we also must learn to walk in faith, grow in faith, and share the gift of faith with our little ones. Here are some resources to teach your little ones what walking in faith looks like:
10 things children should learn about faith - Christian Mom Thoughts
Raising Kingdom Kids - Focus on the Family We would love to hear from you. How do you teach your little one(s) to have faith in Jesus? Lesson #2: Be a witness, share the good news, and sing praises Have you ever noticed how busy this time of the year could be? Everyone is rushing to get their gifts, long lines everywhere, and many times we end up exhausted before Christmas is even celebrated. For the sake of focusing on the real gift of the season, we are focusing on the Nativity scene; which is also made up of the angel(s), Magi and shepherds.
The birth announcement for Jesus was quite a sight to see. There was a star in the sky leading the Magi who traveled from the East. Then there were also heavenly hosts (aka: angels) who personally delivered the good news to shepherds nearby. Those shepherds then witnessed and testified, spreading the good news to others. What is even more amazing, is that the birth of Jesus was a miracle in waiting. Prophets long before had foretold the birth of the Messiah; which was fulfilled through the birth of Jesus.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”Isaiah 9:6 NLT
Therefore, let this season be a reminder to us all. This is a special time of the year in which we too could bear witness to those around us. As we celebrate with our families, friends, and co-workers take time to share the hope and peace of God’s presence in our hearts. It is the best gift you could give.
Have you shared the gift of Christmas? We would love to hear from you. Let us know how you share the true meaning of Christmas with others. Here are some helpful resources on sharing the gospel and fun-filled Christmas activities as a way of staying focused on Jesus: Christmas Activities That Focus on Jesus - Focus on the Family
Lesson #3: From the crib to the cross, ‘til His comeback Many would agree that coming as a baby in a manger was probably not what we would have chosen as the birthplace for a royal king. Thank goodness He is God and we are not. The Nativity scene is a reminder of the miracle of Jesus - the “King of all kings and Lord of all lords,” Revelation 19:16 NLT.
The Nativity scene also points to a much bigger purpose - our salvation.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”John 3:16-17 NLT
Lastly, the Nativity scene is one of hope. The birth of the Messiah was predicted and fulfilled through the birth of Jesus. His death and resurrection were also predicted and fulfilled. Which means that we now await His return. Are you ready?
“Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:27 NLT
Here are some resources for sharing the advent calendar and explaining His return to children. Let’s face it, when it comes to understanding God’s comeback, we need faith like children. Jesus is Coming Again - sermon4kids.com
Read 3 Christmas Stories to Read as a Family on Christmas Eve Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and blessings in 2020.
Disclaimer: The content shared in this page is intended as general advice only, and not to replace clinical counseling, medical treatment, legal counsel, or pastoral guidance.