Monday, December 12, 2011

Nativity Seen

For a year I have saved these two photos knowing that I would need them. They are not remarkable in and of themselves but leave it to a grandchild to teach me an Advent lesson. Meg, who was six at the time, took one look at the nativity scene and remarked, "It wouldn't have been like this, Grammy."

"It would have been like this," Meg instructed as she rearranged the figurines.
 "Everyone would have snuggled up close to Jesus because they came to see him."
She was right.

Those who came to see Him, God Incarnate, yet human, lying in a cattle trough, pressing in to see for themselves the source of the tidings of great joy.
There is a great urgency in the moment.
Many years ago one of our little friends called the mother of Jesus the "Urgent Mary."
For the bible depicts quite a sense of urgency in the events surrounding the nativity. Any mother who has been on the verge of delivering a child is quick to comprehend the urgency of the moment.
But the prophecy, too, must be fulfilled that Joseph and Mary need arrive in the city of David, Bethlehem, for the birth of Jesus.
Don't you suppose Joseph's level of urgency increased as the search for shelter continued?
Then all these people and animals pressing in on them. They've got to see Jesus.
Luke 2:16 says that the shepherds "made haste" to Bethlehem to this thing that had come to pass that the Lord had made known to them.
Awful as this is, I have to show you what I saw while out shopping.
Not quite the caption I would have chosen even on a sentimentalized, sanitized version of the story. But the point was driven home again. Seeing Jesus is a matter of urgency.

Two of my favorites in the nativity are often overlooked and yet theirs is another clear picture of the sense of urgency surround the coming of Christ.
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel...Lord, you are letting your servant depart in peace according to your Word: For my eyes have seen your Salvation.
How long had Simeon waited?
His urgency was such that he could not die until he had seen Israel's Consolation.
In that same scene we find Anna who served God with fasting and prayer night and day.
 It is immeasurable sense of urgency that calls one to night and day prayer and fasting.  
She spoke of Him to all those who had looked for Redemption in Israel.
Her prayer?
Come, Lord Jesus. Come. (Rev. 22:20)
There is urgency in coming to see Jesus.
Today is the day of Salvation. (2Cor.6:2)
Come. With urgency.
Nativity Seen.

1 comment:

  1. Shirley,

    Thank you for this lovely story and its message.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

    Susan Morgan