My brother, J.R., built this stable for me many years ago. It’s very special to me not just because he built it, but also because all of the materials were collected from our grandparent’s farm in North Carolina.
If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s just a few twigs, some bark, moss, twine, a few tacks and some glue. Things you’d find lying around. But when the right person sees these things; a person with an eye for creativity, and a plan to put them together just right, these pieces of debris become a work of art: a Christmas Stable.
Each year, when I take out my nativity set, and place the baby Jesus in this stable, these pieces of twigs and bark become sacred and command respect. Even children know to be careful. When our grandsons are over, they know not to touch. We hold a flashlight so they can look into all the corners and see everything that’s there.When God made man, he looked at the dust with an eye for creativity and a plan to fashion a human body. So God made man and woman in the image of God, and blew life into them.
Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. But God made man in his own image, and man was special because of that.
We are made from dust and when we die, we will return to dust. But our hearts cry out for more! We want eternity! We want real life! We don’t want to exist as an ‘empty stable’; we yearn for purpose.
There is only one thing that can fill our hearts, give purpose to our lives, and make our ordinary bodies a sacred temple; and that is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in us.
We forget that, though we are made in God’s image, we are born sinners in need of a Savior. At some point in each of us will face a decision: Do you believe that the baby in the manger is indeed the man on the cross, the eternal Son of God, who died so that you might live?
John 3:17-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
If you believe that Jesus died for you, and invite him into your heart as your Savior and your king, you will be saved and you will have purpose.
As you set up your nativity this year, if you have not yet done so, will you invite the Lord Jesus to take up residence in your heart and experience the true meaning of Christmas: Emmanuel: God with us!