“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Before I deck the halls with my tree and ornaments, the first Christmas decoration I like to put out is my nativity set.  Although it in no way represents the scene accurately, its’ simplicity and the message it depicts set the stage for the rest of the house.  I do not have an elaborate mantle on which to place my nativity, instead it sits on a simple yellow table in the dining area of my kitchen.  It’s just a simple piece of furniture, but it has a special significance for me.  I purchased it from my first pastor, Rev. Louis Wasmundt, who has since passed away.  Both the table and nativity scene remind me of my roots in the Christian faith.

It’s ironic that most of us try to find the most prominent place in our homes for our nativity, yet Jesus was born in one of the most insignificant places, an animal stable.  Unlike the smooth, polished wood of my nativity, this stable was a straw-filled cave.  Yet, this “insignificant” place had much more history behind it than what first appears in scripture.  In the last few years, I have heard messages from two different ministers that researched the place of Jesus’s birth.  They both concluded that this was not likely an ordinary stable, but the stable where spotless lambs were separated and kept to later be offered as sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem.  Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice, was born in a place where innocent lambs were being prepared for sacrifice.  In no way is this a coincidence, it has the fingerprints of God all over it!  About thirty years later, John the Baptist also recognized the significance of Jesus by announcing to the crowd in John 1:29, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”  In essence, His birth was the preparation for the final atonement for all sin, including mine!

Photo credit by Margaret Collins

Whether your nativity sits prominently on your mantle, or in a humble corner of your kitchen, what it represents is far more significant than any craftsmanship can display.  It’s not a symbol of a simple children’s Bible story, but an epic full of details that only God could arrange so perfectly!

If you want to here more about this significant birth, I have linked Raymond Woodward’s messages about the birth of Jesus here.

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