The second one is far more precious to me. It’s wooden and hand carved. My brother loving made this for my mother many years ago. It always held a place of honour in her home. Even when she was aging and no longer had the enthusiasm to put up any Christmas decorations, this set was always displayed.
To me, this nativity set is priceless. It isn’t traditional because Mary and Joseph are standing together and Mary is cradling baby Jesus in her arms. To me this is much more personal than looking at the baby in a manger. Mary is holding Jesus close to her heart.
Thinking of Mary holding Jesus close to her heart in the hand carved set, I relate this to God holding each of us close to his heart. He isn’t just sitting back watching us. Instead he is tenderly holding us, guiding us and showing his love by his very presence in our lives.
When I look at the nativity sets in my home, I am reminded anew of the miracles of love that Christmas represents. One is the miracle of family and the love shared between them. The other is the great love of God which enables us to fully experience all of the other gifts he blesses us with every day.
Not only on Christmas but every day, let us give God our honour and praise as we remember the love that came down from heaven to reach out to us.
God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not dies but will have eternal life. John 3:16 GWT