Isn't this a beautiful maypole nativity?? Katie's husband Brad made this for me as a Christmas present. I love it. I am touched by all the hard work made to create something so beautiful.Notice how the little baby Jesus is in the center. All the people are looking toward Him. It reminds me of this story I heard this early Christmas season in Relief Society.
The Camel Had Wondered
"Our family has always enjoyed a Christmas tradition of setting out a ceramic nativity scene—complete with wise men, camels, shepherds, sheep, and, of course, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Each season the nativity scene was the same.
One year when my children were young, I carefully unwrapped each piece and set up an artistic display representing the first Christmas. The children gathered around to watch. We talked about the birth of Jesus and the visit of the shepherds and Magi. Then I cautioned the children, as always, not to touch the pieces, explaining that they were fragile and easily broken.
This year, however, the temptation was too great for my two-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. The day we set up the nativity scene, I noticed several times, with some irritation, that a camel had wandered from its appointed place or a sheep had strayed from the watchful care of the shepherd. Each time, I returned the piece to its rightful place, then tracked down the culprit and admonished her to leave things alone.The next morning, Elizabeth awoke and went downstairs before I did. When I walked into the living room, I noticed right away that the manger scene had been disturbed again. All the pieces were clumped together in a mass, as tightly as they could be fitted together.
Impatiently, I stepped forward to put things right; but I stopped short as I realized that some thought had gone into this new arrangement. All twenty-three figures were grouped in a circle, facing inward, pushed together as if to get the best view possible of the figure resting in the center of them all—the baby Jesus.
The spirit touched my soul as I pondered the insight of a two-year-old. Certainly, Christ should be the center of our holiday celebrations. If we all could draw in around our Savior—not only during the Christmas season but during each day—what a better perspective we would have. The love he offers to each of us would be easily shared with others who have not ventured so close.
I left the nativity arranged according to Elizabeth’s design that year. It served as a poignant reminder during the rest of the season of what Christmas is all about."
Janet Eyestone Buck, Dec. 1992 Ensign
I just love this story, and it is so true that we need to have Christ the center of our life. Not just at Christmas-time but all year long.
I also love what Elder Scott had to say:
"....resolve to make the Lord Jesus Christ the living center of your home. Be sure that every decision you make, whether it be of a spiritual or physical nature, be guided by the thought “What would the Lord Jesus Christ have me do?” When the Savior is the center of your home, it is filled with peace and serenity. There is a spirit of calm assurance that pervades the home that is felt by the children and adults alike." (Elder Richard G. Scott April 2010 General Conference address)
So, in 2012 this beautiful nativity will be the centerpiece on my dining room table as a reminder all year long that Christ will be the center of our home. The decisions we make, the things we do, need to reflect His teachings. Then no matter what is going on around the world we will feel peace.
Happy New Year