Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him. Matthew 2:1-2 NLT
As a part of focusing on the birth of Jesus at Christmas I have left one of the nativity scenes in a place where our grandchildren could reach it. My theory was that they would understand Christmas better if they knew what a manger was and what shepherds might have looked like. So I carefully set up my old and semi-unbreakable manger scene so they could see all the characters.
Last week our home was filled with the activity of seven grandchildren, their parents and one family friend. The youngest had to be chased down two or three times to retrieve ornaments which he had stolen off the Christmas tree. Food, games and fun filled our day and we retired properly blessed and exhausted as they finally all drove off in the early evening.
A few days later when I was in my office I noticed that the children had indeed seen the nativity and had rearranged the figures. As I looked closer I realized that they understood the birth of Jesus in a way a bit different than we adults do. There gathered closely around the manger were Mary, Joseph, wise men and shepherds pressing in closely to see Jesus! Maybe it would be better if we adults turned our own backs to the many activities surrounding the celebration of the Christ child and instead pressed in closely to see Jesus!