A Message from Pastor Dave
One of the things I love this time of year is seeing the nativity scenes, the creche sets. There is one in St. Mark’s narthex and another one underneath the Chrismon Tree. The manger scenes come in all shapes and sizes, from the little ones that sit on an end table – so little Devon can get her hands on the donkey with missing ears – or the stained glass ones that are on my windowsill courtesy of my Rudisill mom.
I’ve seen big “scenes” too – outside homes and churches, sometimes even with the mix-match stories of shepherds (Luke) and wisemen (Matthew) and Santa (culture) and Scrooge (Dickens). Many of these are old and comforting images and reminders - where the creche came from, how long it has been part of your life or family history, the joy of seeing children experience the story of Jesus through the nativity sets, and more. Where did your manger scene come from? Which person/s or animal/s in the creche set do you identify with the most? Which one/s give you a sense of hope, peace, love or joy?
The manger scenes also remind me of family:
+ The family of Kecks and Cunninghams that I know and love so much, and of some of our deceased relatives;
+ Family households of church members and friends that I’ve seen creches in over the years – some of kept them up year-round;
+ The holy family of Mary, Joseph and the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths – surrounded by extended family of outcast shepherds, foreign wise men, extraterrestrial angel/s, manger animals of sheep, cow, ox, lamb, camel, donkey too – maybe even a bird or cat, dog or fish; (not so much Santa or Scrooge); and even in the creche sets – earthly elements of straw, pine, star, and flower.
These characters and items in the creche all represent a kind of kinship – togetherness – a family.
+ A family of God being formed and called together by the Spirit to share in the joy, peace, love, and hope that Jesus, the Christ ushers in;
+ The family that we are baptized into through grace of God; through the love of a Savior being born for us, living and dying for us and our salvation; and through the Spirit, the breath of heaven;
+ A family that reminds us that we are not alone, that we need one another;
+ A family that shares this journey of life and faith with us, in heaven and on earth.
Merry Christmas to all!
“To YOU is born this day a Savior.” Luke 2:11