Sunday, December 12, 2010

What's in Your Center?

Since December 1 we have been having what I call "advent" readings in school. Now these aren't really "traditional" readings or do they really have much rhyme or reason to them, but they do all have one thing in common...the Nativity. I come up with something to read to them and a little craft or writing project to do each day. One day I had read this in my quiet time, so I decided to read it to them during school...

When my husband and I responded to God's call to come to Southeast Asia packing was a challenge. There simply wasn't room for the holiday decorations I had accumulated during the years. All that remained for our new home was a Nativity set that I had bought in a neighboring country.

With great care, I placed the ceramic pieces on my table. An angel was in the back; Mary, Joseph and the baby were in front; wise men were on the right; and the shepherds and cattle were placed on the left. The standard American setup.

The next day while I was at language school, my house helper looked at the Nativity. When I cane back later that day, my carefully arranged pieces were now in a circle, all mixed up, with the baby in the middle. Thinking she had dusted and didn't know how to arrange them correctly, I moved them back in proper order. The following day, the Nativity scene was once again in a circle. This went on for more days until I finally asked her why she kept moving the pieces--after all, everyone knows shepherds and wise men have definite stations in life and her arrangement just wouldn't happen.

She pointed to the scene and said, "Jesus should be the center of everything," Pointing to her heart, she continued, "Just like in here." Pointing to the wise men, then to the Shepherds and then to herself, she continued to teach me, saying, "He loves us all the same.

I was very touched by this story. We hear lots about keeping Christ in Christmas and remember He is the "Reason for the Season" and all of that is true. We should remember that. Yet, I wonder what do our actions show...would others looking into your family's celebrations see that Jesus is the "Reason for Our Season."