Our playskool nativity set was dusted off last weekend when we took down our Christmas decorations. Gran gave this set to Ruby when she was one year old. She used to carry the whole thing around all day long when she was younger. Mack and Ruby realized Jesus was missing, so Ruby told Mack to go look for Jesus in his room. Mack ran off on a mission….however, he came back with two dinosaurs. Ruby told him that NO, NO, NO that is NOT going to work and that Jesus is the most important part of the manger scene and to go back and look again. Mack said, in a serious voice, “Yeah, but we really need the dinosaurs, too!!!!!!!”
Really? I don’t recall that they were there.
Only his sweet little four-year-old boy brain.
This same sweet little four-year-old boy has also broken the tail off of a donkey on my favorite nativity. And he broke off a gift from one of the wise men in another nativity set that Josh brought from another country. I finally had to draw the line and give them permission to play with two nativities in the house….the rest are MINE.
But if I were to contemplate this little exchange long enough, I am sure I would see how many times I rush around making sure I have the tree decorated, the gifts bought, the parties planned, the cards in the mail and more….and then in the silence I realize that I cannot find Jesus in all of my hustle-bustle. It really does take effort to keep the main thing the main thing. If we aren’t working towards keeping Jesus at the center of all we do, then He surely won’t be.
On Sunday at lunch we were talking about what we could give Jesus for His birthday. I love buying gifts for my kids and for others and decorating and baking and all that goes along with Christmas, but I SO DON’T WANT MY KIDS TO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!!!!!!!!! We have some ways of teaching them this that can be quite controversial, so for now I will just skip that part, though it may come up later since my convictions in this area seem to be growing stronger….we’ll see.
Anyway, back to the lunch. Molly whispered to Ruby that we should give Jesus our heart (which Molly has already done, Praise the Lord!). Ruby said, “Oh, you gotta say that out loud. That is such a good answer.” So Molly told us that we should give Jesus our hearts, which we said is so true….but then we asked if there was a tangible gift we could give Him. “What if we get less gifts so we can give to Jesus by giving to others?” was the questions Josh asked. There was a little bit of silence and glances among the children. Molly said, “I wouldn’t mind that at all. I don’t care if I get no gifts.” Ruby piped up, loud and clear, “HUH!! Wait and see—when it happens, you’ll care!!!”
We’ve got a long way to go. And when I say WE, I am totally including myself. 🙂