Rhon’s Inspiration Station: A Vintage Nativity Story
I would like to share a favorite “Nativity” story from Christmas Stories
from the Heart published by Multnonah Publishers:.
It was early Christmas day when the pastor inspected his church before the morning service. He wanted to make sure everything was in order following the Christmas Eve service the night before. When he paused at the life-size Nativity set that graced a small stage in the sanctuary, he admired the beautiful figures of the shepherds and livestock that surrounded the holy family. Then he gasped when he realized that the figure of the baby Jesus was missing. Quickly he went through the church looking down every aisle, even getting down on his knees to look under the seats, but there was no baby Jesus to be found. He called the custodian to ask if he had seen the figure. Then he called the assistant pastor and other leaders, but no one had any idea what happened to the baby Jesus. It was evident that is wasn’t just lost – it must’ve been stolen, and this brought great sadness to his heart.He told the congregation of the missing baby Jesus in the service that morning and that it must be returned before Christmas Day was over. But the hours passed and the manger remained empty. Feeling heavy-hearted the pastor took a walk through the streets of the neighborhood when he saw one of his youngest members, six-year-old Tommy, pulling a new red wagon. Tommy’s family could hardly make ends meet what a sacrifice it was for them to buy the wagon. He hurried to catch up to Tommy to admire his new wagon and when he drew near, he saw a blanketed form lying in the wagon there it was, the missing baby Jesus! He knelt down beside Tommy to tell him how wrong it was to steal the baby Jesus.He knew that although Tommy was just a little boy, he was old enough to know that stealing was wrong. As he spoke, Tommy’s clear eyes filled with tears, which the pastor was certain must be tears of repentance.
Finally, Tommy spoke in a quavering voice: “But, Pastor: I didn’t steal Jesus. It wasn’t like that at all.” He paused to wipe away his tears. “It’s just that I’ve been asking him for a red wagon as a Christmas present for a long time, and I promised him that when I got it, I’d take him out for the first ride.
“No wonder Jesus said that we must become like children if we would enter into the kingdom. The Christmas spirit can thrive in their guiltless hearts. This is why we must share the Christmas story with them every opportunity we can.
I have found a wonderful door-opener is a beautiful Nativity scene. Just as the angels told the shepherds of Bethlehem:
“And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
Amidst all the glitter and tinsel of Christmas, the uniqueness and serenity of a simple Nativity can be God’s sign post to bring us back to the true reason for the season”
from Rhon & Bob