My mother-in-law had an attic of surprises. As the young wife of a poor pastor, I wanted a creche, although I knew I could not afford one. When I shared my longing with my mother-in-law, she replied, “I’m sure I have one in the attic. I’ll find it for you.” This was even better than a new one. I cherished the fact this one (the one featured in this post) was a piece of family history. My husband and his brothers never recognized or remembered the one she gave me. We decided it was the creche of Mom’s childhood. That made it older and more precious. I am sure Grandmother was easy going for there are many signs of wear and tear (Mary is missing a nose) by children who must have played with the Nativity figures, imagining what it would have been like to have been there that night when Jesus was born – children who must have been pulled with awe and wonder into the story. I still set the creche up every Christmas, even when I know my grandchildren won’t be here. Perhaps like the children who first gazed with wonder on this creche, I have the need to touch the story, up close and personal, to be in it and worship the new born King.
May each of us visit Bethlehem this Christmas in our hearts and wonder anew at the miracle of The Son of God come to earth to be The Lamb of God.