One of the first Christmas gifts my husband and I received as a married couple was a nativity set. At first, I would put it out every Christmas because it was beautiful and made a nice decoration. However, as my relationship with Christ grew, so did my understanding of the miraculous and incredible story behind this ceramic display.
“And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.” Luke 2:16-17
Now when I put out this nativity set, I carefully place each figure where it belongs. As I do it, I find myself wondering what they must have been thinking at that time. I wonder if Jesus, being full human and fully God, cried and fussed like most newborns do? Were the shepherds truly aware of the miracle that were witnessing? Were Mary and Joseph worried about being new parents. Let alone the parents of our Lord and Savior?
The Nativity gives us a chance to explore the main characters of the story, but also even look beyond them. Who were the supporting characters? Are all the characters even people? How do all of these combine to bring us the most incredible and beautiful story ever told? The reality is that even if we look at the parts people play as individuals, we must remember to always look at how all the characters are a greater part of the whole.
Take some time to ponder the characters in the Nativity. If you are able, experience a live Nativity and think about how each of the characters complete the whole story.