By Beth Horn
I am not much of a collector, but nativity sets are one item I like to collect. I like sets with multiple pieces because it is fun to arrange and rearrange all the characters and pieces. I learned from being in plays in high school that the placement of characters on a stage communicates much about their importance. To place Jesus in the center of the action whether in the foreground or background, to place the others in positions of worship, to include animals in the stable or place them outside. They all prepare for the coming child. Placing the figures allows me to reflect upon one of the greatest questions of all.
Where does Jesus stand in my life?
Do I place him front and center and orient the rest of my life around him? Do I hide him in the back behind the scenery? Do I place him in the wings waiting for an entrance cue from me? Does he have any speaking lines or is he just an extra? To return to the theme of the nativity sets, have I placed myself in a position of worship just as I have placed the shepherds and wise men? Am I desiring to be near him as much as they are?
Honestly, the answers to these questions are not always what I want them to be. I struggle, I fail, I backslide, I am a sinner. But that is not the end of my story, and it is not the final placement of Jesus. As he says in Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (NIV).
He’s ready for center stage.
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Header image provided by Jenda Ballard of Chino Valley, AZ of a nativity set from a Guatemalan mission trip.