26 December, 2005

Uh... It wasn't quite like that

The following is adapted from another blogger, Patrick Mead:

Nice picture above. We have a beautiful Nativity scene set up in our house, and another on the Communion table at the church. Drive through town and you will find these beautiful Nativity scenes set up here and there in tribute and honor of our Lord's birth.
The only problem is... it just was not like that.

Barns stink. Mangers are unsanitary.
The first nativity scene wasn't a nativity scene, if you know what I mean.
It would have smelt of manure, urine, blood, and straw.
The air would have been full of dust and chaff.
Without saying more -- have you ever witnessed a birth?
I have, and while it is miraculous, to say the least, I can assure you it was not the nice tidy scene we so often see portrayed.

There were no backlights or or halos here, no swirling angels singing with harps.
The barn held pain, darkness, and confusion. . .
When we scrub the manger scene down with Lysol, place floodlights on the participants, make them white, comb their hair, and surround them with stars and adoring shepherds and animals we make Christianity a Nordic myth and rob it of its true power: for in all that dirt, pain, blood and dust was the Son of God, Emmanuel, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
And that means that our messy lives can still host that same King. . .

There used to be some pagan holidays that have some aspects in common with our celebration. But it doesn't belong to the pagans anymore. It's ours.
We took it for Jesus and we're not giving it back.
We did the same thing to tombstones, wearing white at weddings, wedding rings, the names of the days of the week and a hundred other things.
They used to be pagan but they are ours now.
Because what happened at that first Christmas changed everything. Forever.”

No comments: