Karen, my ever-alert bride, became aware last summer of a nativity scene up for grabs. Upon bringing the molded figures home, for lack of room elsewhere I put them in my johnboat parked in the driveway. Then about October we moved the boat to its winter resting place which happens to be just outside the window behind my computer screen.
It seems like the older I get, the jumpier. Nowadays, about all it takes to shock my heart into skipping a beat is someone jumping out from hiding exclaiming, “Gotcha!” Well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced a quick start when, deep in thought, my eyes stray from my screen to gaze absentmindedly outside and I suffer a quick shock at thinking someone close by is facing me. But then I realize it’s only poor Joseph, and shake my head that yet again, for the umpteenth time, he got me.
See how downcast he looks shivering there covered with snow out of his proper environs? He sure deserves better than to be chucked aside into a boat. At this season, the proper place for his cast likeness is in a stable tending the corresponding likenesses of Mary and The Babe. I have some nice spruce poles freshly cut, so at the behest of my sweet bride, l’m about to fashion suitable habitation.
Many in this post-Christian culture we have descended into would not even give the Christ Child a place in a manger as part of their Christless, “Happy Holidays” kind of so-called, “Winter Celebration.” But some of the rest of us are just as pathetic in God’s eyes, when we live our lives relegating His Son to merely a “Little Lord Jesus Asleep on the Hay” short Christmastime stint.
The only meaningful place for God’s perfect gift is to be ensconced not for a brief yearly season as a mere sentimental symbol and two-cents-worth tribute, but taken to dwell permanently, each and every day, as the very centerpiece of the individual’s heart as his personal crucified and risen Lord and living Savior.