Young children are fascinated by Nativity Scenes. (Even the not so young are as well!) How can you incorporate Nativity Scenes into your community's worship life? This is a photo of the altar at Trinity Lutheran Church, Monroeville, Ohio. Eleven Christmas ago I bought this nativity scene and first used it as a children's sermon. It has become a tradition over the past number of years to place this white porcelain nativity scene on the altar during Advent and Christmas. Any added imagery that is tastefully placed within the worshipping context can aid worshippers to be drawn into the good news of Christ. Think of the icons in the Orthodox and Catholic churches. These images invite us into the scene so that Christ might meet us there in ever powerful ways.
What about in the home? Do you have a nativity scene in your home for the children and grandchildren to look at, touch or even play with? My son's first nativity was from Fisher Price Little People and he played with those figures and we chatted about the story of Jesus' birth. As he got older his grandmother had a set of music box nativity figurines. Each one played a different Christmas carol. He would play with those for hours and what happened was that the story of Christ's incarnation became more and more real to him.
I have several nativity scenes that I leave out all year long. One is on the children's piano. Every time they sit down to practice it is right in front of them, reminding them of their faith. What can you do to help remind your children of their faith and of God's love for them this season? The more you make it real for them, the stronger a faith foundation that is being laid. They will take notice of what is important to you and embrace that themselves on their faith journey. . . so if you like nativity scenes, put them out! If you have some that are particularly special, leave them out.
Share your ideas here of ways that you have used nativity scenes in the home and in the church. Be creative! Your creativity helps others experience the joy of Christ's incarnation!
Have a blessed day,
Pr. Amy Little