Monday, December 8, 2008

A Christmas Creche

Last weekend I went to a Christmas crèche exhibit our church put on. Hundreds of borrowed nativities were displayed from around the world, and to enter the transformed gym stilled me.

Initially, I was most touched by the volunteers who gave this gift to any and all who wanted to receive it. December has a natural way of filling up with shopping and Christmas parties and gift- wrapping and Santa Claus and other wonderful things, and logically, I couldn't understand how anyone could squeeze a week of setting up and taking down nativities into all the other Christmas festivities December claims. I wish I could hug each person who caught vision of what a sight like this could do for a person. I thank you, every last one of you. I was touched by the true spirit of Christmas on Friday night, and it felt wonderful after my frenzied day of shopping.

The scattered thoughts that tumble round my brain tirelessly stopped as I hushed at the scene before me: live Christmas music swirling around a beautiful Christmas tree, the carols dancing between the countless scenes depicting Christ's birth. There were nativities of all kinds, both big and small, inexpensive and ornate, crafty and elegant.

The lighting was dim, but Christmas lights speckled the low light, reminding me of the star that led the wise men and lit the heavens the day Christ was born. I had my camera, thinking I might like to snap a picture or two--what an understatement. I couldn't stop taking pictures. I went from nativity to nativity, first trying to find the baby Savior in each scene. I’d find Him and then fiddle my camera’s settings so He was in focus. I'd crouch down low or tippy toe higher to try and find Him in the perfect light or most appealing angle. I did this hundreds of times, and each time I found and then focused on Him, I was moved, my teary eyes often bringing everything back out of focus.

I couldn't stop thinking about how analogous this process I was going through with my camera was to life. I really believe that this life is a test to see if we will find the Savior in this busy world, and then focus on him with our all. I believe the story of the baby Jesus and his perfect life filled with the most meaningful types of gifts—primarily gifts of healing. Whether he healed hearts, eyesight, or skin diseases, always, he was healing. And always he is healing. To notice his healing hand, all we must do is find Him, focus on Him and follow Him. Taking pictures of an array of Christmas creches reminded me of that.

*Merry Christmas to all of you! This will likely be my last post for the year. Until next year, have a wonderful Christmas with your loved-ones. Squeeze them, kiss them and heal them when they're broken. And most importantly, remember Him who has taught us so perfectly how to love.


  1. Truly lovely photographs and thoughts. I was also moved by the exhibit and wished that more could have seen it. I would love to see more of your photos. Any chance of you making a slide show?

  2. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful experience, both with your words and your photos.
    Blessings to you and your family and Merry Christmas!

  3. That was beautiful Mag! I was so glad that we were able to go as well. I didn't go last year and wished I could have stayed longer this year. I too was amazed at how they had transformed the gym. I hope they continue to do this and that attendance continues to increase.

    I like Pam's slide show idea. If you ever do, I would love a copy!!

  4. Oh, I am so touched. Thank you so much for that beautiful post and beautiful reminder of the purest purpose of this season.

  5. Love the post and the pictures with your beautiful thoughts!

  6. you are so amazing. i just loved that post. so sweetly said. it brings it all into perfect perspective. merry christmas to you and yours as well. until next year!!

  7. You know, I heard about this and didn't make a point of going. I'll have to change that next year if they do it again. Thanks for sharing part of it with us!
    I also just read about your mastitis! UGH! I'm so sorry. I'm glad you're feeling more like yourself again. Enjoy your trip and have a very Merry Christmas!

  8. What a sweet post! Have a very Merry Christmas and travel safely!! Get back in touch with me when you get home! I will miss you! Tell your family hi!

  9. What a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is all about. I am moved by your thoughts, beautiful pictures & testimony. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your sweet family.

  10. We are missing you! Come back soon!

  11. Thank you for this, Marie!! What beautiful sentiments. Your blog is so fun. I love checking it out. I can't believe you were in Germany, well, I know your family lives there, but wow....what a vacation!!!




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