this beauty in my living room
this one on my tree
this one i found in Myanmar this year
and this one, that was my grandma's too, just not the one from grandma's.
back to grandma's house. her nativity was old. and chipped. and fragile. and she let me play with it whenever i wanted. i'm sure she accepted the fact that with 17 grandchildren and, at the time, over 30 great-grandchildren (i was the youngest of the grandchildren, but the great-grands were the ones my age) her things were just going to be played with. oh, i was ever so careful with them, but i was a child, so chips and dings happened. there was just something so special about her little cardboard stable and holy family.
a few years later, that nativity was given to me. and i cherish it.
torn stable. only two wisemen and a mismatched set to say the least. i borrowed the camel and donkey from the brown set from earlier to fill out the stable. the shepherd, maybe he's another set's joseph, but here he is an unpainted shepherd. and then little mary & joseph, bowing, in awe of baby Jesus in his cotton lined stall.
and yet my favorite part of this nativity? the three-legged, peg-legged sheep. i know there are no stories about him in the Bible. but he's a very important part of my christmas. if you look closely you'll see him there at the feet of Jesus.
he would have been thrown out years ago by any sensible person. he's missing one leg. the other is only a wire. another leg is badly cracked. he's chipped and he's ugly but he has become more dear to me in every passing year.
it dawned on me a few years back. i am the three-legged, peg-legged sheep! broken, cracked and ugly i dare throw myself at the feet of Jesus. and i welcomed in to worship. if you notice the other two sheep, they are proud looking, heads up or turned away. but this sheep's head is bowed. i'm sure the original maker intended this sheep to be eating grass and that's why his head is low. but i see a broken, hurting sheep bowed before a Savior. One who will bring him ultimate healing.
so every christmas i'm reminded by the three-legged, peg-legged sheep how deeply loved i am by God that He would send His Son to the world, to help broken, awkward and ugly sheep like myself. and how welcome i always am at His feet.
Merry Christmas Friends