My sister Kathy walked into the room to find her grandchildren, Evan and Emma, playing with the nativity set. She had placed it on a low table especially for them. All the figures—Mary, Joseph, sheep, cows, and the wise men—were crowded in a circle around baby Jesus. Normally we arrange our nativities as if they are on stage performing for a crowd. But Evan and Emma were acting out the Christmas story and IN it all the way.

“Oooh,” Kathy said, “What’s going on here?”

“They’re ‘dooring Him,” Evan said, and Emma nodded in agreement.

Kathy remembered years before when their mom, Heidi, played with the same nativity set and did the exact same thing. When asked what was happening, she gave the same reply, “They’re ‘dooring Him, Mommy.”

Isn’t that what Christmas should be about? Our focus shouldn’t be our perfectly decorated home or tree. It doesn’t matter if the presents are all wrapped the way they look in magazines. Our food and clothes don’t have to be fancy. And even though we would like to be gathered with family, many of us won’t be able to do that this year. Yet Christmas can still be wonderful, magical, and take us to our knees. IF we gather round to adore Jesus our Lord.

My girls moved the people and animals around in the manger scene they were allowed to play with as well, and I love to see our grandchildren doing the same thing. It’s important for them to be able to understand it and feel like they’re part of the action. We adults need to do the same thing. We may not sit down and rearrange the figures like our kids do, but we can imagine ourselves at the scene.

How would it feel to be Mary—chosen to bring the Son of God into the world, receiving visits from angels, shepherds, and wisemen from far off countries?

How would we react if we were Joseph—responsible for Jesus’ protection, care, and upbringing; receiving instructions from God through dreams?

What would we do if angels appeared to us, even though we were lowly shepherds, and gave us specific instructions on how to find the newborn King, the Savior of the world, so we could go worship Him?

Would we trust a new star in the heavens and travel far from home to honor a king prophesied in Hebrew scripture, and bow before Him as the true King of all the world?

There were other people involved as well, who are not represented in the creche—Mary’s mother and father, Zechariah and Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s parents), King Herod (the king who tried to murder Jesus), Simeon and Anna (who welcomed baby Jesus in the temple as the expected Messiah), and many others not mentioned in scripture, but who knowingly or unknowingly took part in Jesus’ birth story.

Let’s pause from our activities and Christmas busyness to kneel at the manger–if possible, physically, if not, mentally and emotionally, to adore Jesus. He alone is worthy. He is Christ the Lord.

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things” (1 Chronicles 29:11).

I pray as you bow to adore Him that all the other distractions will fade into the background and you can be fully present with Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Merry Christmas to you!

Here’s another photo a reader sent in of a Nativity scene addition. The potato heads are getting in on the action!