Last night I was playing with my 22 month old granddaughter,Ellis. We were playing with a wooden manger scene and replacing the figures in the manger. She would name the characters and then sometimes knock them over , so she could set them up again. Although this was a simple and familiar activity, I realized that this was as close as some of us get to the real meaning of Christmas. Just like baby Ellis, we look briefly at the Christ child and then lay Him down.
I have purposed in my heart that this Christmas will be different. I am trying to spend more time with the Christ child and less time being "busy". Why just this day that Ellis and I played with the manger figures, I had been so busy preparing gumbo, cleaning, and setting up play stations for the girls that I had not spent any time with Christ. Sure, I would send up small spontaneous prayers, but I hadn't taken time to thank Him for my wonderful family who would be gathering at our home this weekend. I had not meditated on Christ's gift to me this day. I was much like the inn keeper. I had no room today.
Playing with the manger characters, I realized how simple I was making the story , so a two year old could understand it. Ellie understands Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. She gets them in the right order. She mixes up the wise men and the shepherds. Suddenly, I realized she really did understand the order. The wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were their best gifts. The shepherds were not kings, but they received the news first of the Savior from angels. Each were equal in the eyes of the Lord. Country shepherds and kings were of equal importance to God. So, let the figures line up anyway they want as long as they are worshiping the Christ child.
Falling on my knees and singing hallelujah is the best gift I can offer Him. A child has once again simplified the message. Of all our gifts nothing is better than our honest worship. Yes, baby Ellie, we are are all equal at the manger scene.
Our gift of praise is as great as the wise men who brought expensive
treasures. Let me continue to ponder the figures in my creche and allow God to teach me more of His glorious provisions and love.