Nativity scenes are those sets of figurines that depict the birth of Jesus. They come in all shapes and sizes, for indoors and out, to play with and to look at, from simple to ornate and everything in between.
My family has a small collection of nativity scenes that we unpack every year at this time. As we unpack them and set them out, we recall where and when we got each one. It seems as though each scene comes with its own story.
This year at Campbell UMC, our Advent theme is going to be “Nativity Scenes.” But we’re not just talking about the decorative figures. The “scenes” that we’ll focus on are the shared experiences, memories, and images of the season.
Nativity scenes are sometimes joyful memories. Sometimes our nativity scenes are filled with grief. Many of our nativity scenes include visits with family and friends. At times our nativity scenes are lonely and isolated.
Each of us has a collection of these “scenes” that we tend to unpack each year about this time. As we prepare our lives for the birth of Jesus, we recall holidays past, and all of the sorrow, joy, loneliness, and love that each memory brings. There is no doubt, each scene comes with its own story.
At the same time, we will create new nativity scenes this year. The experiences we share this year will become a part of the story over time. What new scenes will you add? What will this year’s memories be?
There is power in shared experience. Together our nativity scenes make up a marvelous story. It is a love story; God’s love story told to the whole world. And each “Nativity Scene” creates an important part of the storyline. My hope for this season is that the power of our shared experience will draw us closer to God, closer to one another, and into a deeper relationship with Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit.