The final figure has been hung in my Advent shadow box. In our Nativity scenes, the manger holds a baby. It is Christmas Eve, the time of laboring, receiving. As waiting and expectancy end, the intense work so aptly named labor begins, the urgency of a baby’s entrance into our world gives way to embrace. With the birth of our granddaughter this year so fresh in my mind, I think of holding her minutes after birth. So small and precious in my arms, so helpless, yet holdiing such power over my heart. In the hush of those moments, relationship locked and sealed forever. Relationship that began the moment I heard of her coming, that grew so sweetly when I saw ultrasound images, became one that will endure past physical life.
It is in that way Christ came to us. In that picture of receiving Him that we see God’s intention for relationship. We don’t just know he is coming . We welcome Him into our hearts.
This Nativity belongs to our youngest son. He first set it up when he was very small. As a boy, he built the little shed from scraps of wood shingles. Now it sits in his own home, where his daughter holds the figures as she discovers her very first Christmas.