Just Look at Jesus

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’m not much of a collector.  I don’t like knick-knacky things very much because …dusting?  Boooring.   However, I do love collecting nativity sets.  I think my current count is around 10 and they are from all different countries, representing many cultures.  I love, love, love them.  Here is a new one that my friend, Dodie, gave me this very year:

Isn’t the star so cute?  And this is exactly how I like the nativity to be set up.  The family should be all together and the rest of the group casually strewn about like they’re trying to play it kind of cool and not bother the Christ child too much.

I, however, am not the primary nativity-scene-setter-upper in my home.  Josiah holds that title and  he has a very unique and very, very consistent way of displaying them.  Currently there are five sets in my home that he arranged and every one looks exactly like this:

See?  A perfect circle around the baby Jesus.  Every time.  I got him his first nativity set when he was maybe two years old and he has been making this little holy family sphere ever since.  One time when he was five or six, I asked him why they were all in a circle like that and he said, “They’re looking at Jesus.”  And I must have still seemed confused because he grew a bit uncertain and then asked a fairly brilliant question: “Where else would they look?”

It’s a worthy point, and if the nativity folks are anything like me, then the honest answer is:  everywhere.  I usually start the day looking at Jesus and I determine that I will keep Him in my focus and I really, really mean it.   But then a light turns red or my coffee grows cold or life gets hard or fear comes rushing and I find myself looking at a multitude of other things.  Ironically, I think that Christmas is one of the hardest times to keep His face locked in our view.  Tonight, as I imagine the next four days with family and church and presents and crowded stores and just…life, I am deciding again to keep my place in the circle of those whose attention is captivated by the beautiful baby King.    I started 2010 with a post called Behold.  I want to end the year the very same way.

Behold:  Him.

Happy 3 days before Christmas,


  1. helenw13 says:

    So glad to know that I am not alone in my nativity scene obsession…I have posted a few pictures over the last week or two…one more to come…I don’t have it out…but my girls LOVE the one I made out of cloth from a pattern and stuffed with batting…complete with stable and animals…quite something!

  2. Tim says:

    Do you have any from Israel??

    My parents were there and sent us a scene made of Olive Wood… very special to say the least.

    I’d post picture but alas unable at this time..

    Merry Christmas

  3. Vangi says:

    Oh, Bo, this one made me cry — so beautifully and simply written. I just loved it. And I have a special place in my heart for nativity scenes also, though I don’t have a collection. I may start one. I’m inspired. They’re hard to come by around here, but I found three in one store the other day, kind of a western-type store tucked away on the third floor of the plaza behind my house: yankee candles, potpourri, gifty, knic-knacky (SP???) stuff, usually the kind of store i avoid. But I wanted a Christmas tree smell in my house, so I looked around at their candle options and found some great ones. How does “Holiday Sparkle” sound? Or Hollyberry, Home for Christmas, and Christmas Wreath? Yep, all by Yankee candle. They warmed my heart.

    I also saw a couple of nativity sets, one beautifully carved that is now gone, and a smaller, “holy family only” one or two. My budget is saying no, but my heart is saying yes, and so we’ll see which wins out. 🙂 Anyway, it was just a breath of fresh air to see those sets on the shelf, probably the first time I’ve seen any reference to the real meaning of Christmas here. Special moment. And maybe that’s as far as it needs to go this year — don’t torment the budget, and enjoy the effects of that little experience.

    Love you a lot,


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