Living Nativities

Lyndelle Chiomenti, Editor CQ and

Christmas is over, and the decorations are once again in storage until next December. Likewise, the controversy in some parts of the world over which public places are inappropriate to host a nativity scene are silenced for another eleven months.

Personally, I believe this controversy demeans the very spirit of Christmas, which includes compassion, submission, faith, and the urgent desire to seek our Savior, to follow Him, and to share Him with others.

Let me explain by taking a closer look at some of the characters who appear in most nativity scenes:

Joseph. Because Mary was pregnant with a child he knew was not his, he had every right to dissolve their engagement. However, his final decision demonstrates great compassion
toward his espoused and her unborn Child.

Mary. At first, she was “greatly troubled” by the angel’s pronouncement that she was highly favored of God (Luke 1:28, 29, NIV). However, “as soon as sufficient information had been imparted to her” she responded by saying, “ ‘I am the Lord’s servant. . . . May it be to me as
you have said’ ” (The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 684; Luke 1:38, NIV). Humanly speaking, the plan the angel announced was impossible. But with confidence in God, Mary submitted to being an instrument of His will.

The wise men. Tradition states that they were men of high position from an area near ancient Babylon. Yet they traveled thousands of miles to visit the King of the Jews. Not only that,
they brought Him gifts and worshiped Him. They did not ask to see a heavenly birth certificate
to prove His lineage. With faith, they accepted Him for Who and what He was.

The shepherds. Good people of that time despised such men, because their “profession” did not enable them to observe major portions of the Jewish ceremonial laws. Yet to such men a heavenly host appeared, praising God with the good news of their Savior’s birth. And with that good news,
their terror turned to joy and they desire to find Him. Not only that, after they found Him, they desired to tell others the good news!

At the beginning of this new year, my prayer is that such compassion, submission, faith, and desire will reign in our hearts every day. Thus, we will be “live” nativities wherever we go, allowing the public to truly see the most important person of any nativity scene—Christ Himself.