Every year we spend the day after Thanksgiving transforming the end of our living room into a manger scene. It turns out different every year, but it always serves the same purpose — to get our eyes, minds and hearts focused on the birth of our Lord, Jesus.
It starts off with tables and boxes and ends up with a 14×10-foot display of various worshipers surrounding the manger. Like the way it was, some seem more aware of the significance of the event and the Person than others.
The 12-inch figures are Italian, made by Fontanini. We like them and have been adding a little each year for the past 15 years or so. Unfortunately, Fontanini make only limited pieces, so we try to improvise from wherever we can find something that fits. Our three children join us in an all-day event with each one contributing his or her specialty.
Finally, we enjoy staring at it, imagining what it might have been like 2,000 years ago. And we enjoy inviting guests to do the same as they come for an evening visit. This year, my thoughts keep coming back to the idea of the incarnation as the inordinate condescension in which God became flesh and the Son interrupted his peace and glory with the Father to come live with us in order that we might know Him. I want to experience more of an appreciation for the transformation He has made in my life and consequently express an even deeper thankfulness for making the way to God available to me.