Monday, December 13, 2010

A Story That is Meant to Touch


It is a beautiful table. A beautiful spot in my home where pretty things are supposed to sit untouched. Near my entry, situated on a red wall, is a wood and iron table that holds pictures of my children, a candle, and something seasonally pretty. I love that spot.

In October, I put a scarecrow there and the whole scene looks so harvest-y. In November, I take the scarecrow down and put a pumpkin with a turkey carved into it. It reads: Happy Thanksgiving! I tell my kids "don't touch" and have them set their many things elsewhere. It can be a battle... but I love to have a little corner that is beautiful in the midst of the fallout of family.

And then comes December. I put the pumpkin away and carefully unpack a simple but beautiful Nativity set. Onto the red wall table go the pieces and before I can catch myself, the words pour forth.

"Don't touch!"

"This is momma's and it is breakable!"

"Be careful!"

And in a moment of thoughtlessness, I have given my children lies.

Let's stand back for a just a second and see it in a different way. Those little nick-knacks so careful displayed on a table in my entry tell a story that is one of the most important stories I will ever tell my kids. And it is not for those who must stand a long ways off... No, this story is one to touch and hold and feel deeply. It is not breakable at all... It is, in fact, a story that shows the Divine Creativity of a God who is overwhelmed with love. He is willing to sacrifice that which means the most to Him to open His arms to you and me. This is not a story of cautiousness. This is an opportunity for us to run with reckless abandon into the Kingdom of God. Those nick-knacks show the way... The Way He used... The Way for us to find what was lost.

In this season of great love and beauty, let's find a way to make the Christmas story real to our families. I cannot let meaningless figurines stand between my children and the truth. Because nothing, NOTHING, is more important than allowing them to come to the edge of the stable and peer inside. Nothing is more important than helping them to understand that all of it is a lesson to us... the animals, the people, the baby... all of it points us to the truth of who God is and how we can find our way to Him.

In the midst of this busy season, let's help each other out. How do we teach this story well? What do you do with your family that helps to draw their attention back to the Biblical Christmas story? I would love to hear your ideas. Please leave a comment below with some idea to share... the title of a book... a family tradition...

And if you are struggling to find a way to teach this story, I have written a set of devotions for families that might help. Take a look at http://nadiaswearingen-friesen.com/DevotionSets.html to see the set. Every devotional comes with Nativity set that your children can touch and that you can use as a teaching tool to draw your little ones into the story, into the truth. There are only a few still available this season so be in touch soon, if you are interested!

Now, let's share some ideas! I am always looking for new ways to celebrate this season with my family. What works for YOU?

Blessings on your day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your Blog on Monday and thought I would share what happened in our house 4 years ago. My husband and I had to make a decision to move my mother into our house around the first week of December. We had a corner table in our living room that we displayed our nativity set for the year and decorate for each season like your table ! My mom had to be moved from her apartment quickly due to a situation that was out of her hands but we jumped in to help her and moved her in about 1 day...what a deal. Anyway, while moving her I noticed that all our wise men had been knocked over and I really did not think about it because I thought someone had bumped the table and caused them to fall. But, then I noticed another manager scene we had put up and those wise men were faced down too. It got me wondering if my boys had touched them. At first I was upset...thinking "How dare the boys bother the manager scene ...when they have been told not to touch them". So, while telling my husband how things have been bothered while the move was going on ...and asking him if he bumped the table or touched them in anyway...my oldest came forward. I am starting to cry while typing this out...I at this point knew he was going to say he was sorry...but what he told me will forever be with me and every Christmas from this day forward. My son Jacob really got it....he listened to all the stories I had read him ...he listened to all the church sermons and taught my family to stop and really take time to think of what happened when Jesus was born. Jacob told us that day that ...no one bumped the tables...he moved all the wise men to be faced down....because "Mom....they came to worship Jesus !!" WOW !! THE CHILDREN WILL LEAD YOU !! Now when we put up our manager scenes...you guessed ...we face all of our wise men down on their faces !!! Hope you and your family have a Blessed Christmas !!!

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