Child playing with Nativity setA woman donated a Fisher Price Nativity set to Community of Hope. She shared it with the children who have a home to live in this Christmas instead of being homeless. One of the moms told me that her daughter thought it was animals in a barn. She was right of course. But it is so much more. I started thinking about how I could tell this little girl the story of Christmas. It is just a story of a family who traveled to a different town and couldn’t find a place to live, so they stayed with the animals in the barn and happened to have a baby that night. Just a nice story. But then the strange stuff starts happening. Shepherd see angels (How do you explain what they are?) They come to visit this family with the story of what the angels said, that this child was the Savior. And what does that mean? How can I tell her about how God loves us so much that He choose to be one of us? How do you explain to a 4-year-old that Jesus wants to forgive us and set us free? Next, I would have to explain that the camel is not a cow, and that important people somehow knew this child was special, even worth traveling a long way to come to see him and bringing strange gifts.

Thinking about how I could tell this story made me appreciate it at a depth that I have not felt before. I thought about how this little girl also had a mom who did not have a place to stay, and found one surrounded by those who love her. God forgives her, makes sure she is never alone, and saves her then things are hard. She is receiving gifts from people she has never met but know a child needs something special in this season. We believe that Jesus became a human being because our God wants to have a relationship with us and wants to share his love an a very practical, human level. This means that we get to see how he is doing that today through other people, both those of us who know God’s love and those who don’t know that it is God who is loving them through them.

Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

Linda Jo