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The Nativity: A Defining Scene of Faith & Humility

Luke 2:4-7 says, “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

The words of this passage tell us a lot without saying much, and the image of this scene is a strong one if we slow down and take the time to picture it. The basis of the nativity is a tale many know, but because of that, we can grow overly familiar with it and miss its richness. Both Mary and Joseph found themselves in Bethlehem, a place that was not their home. Let us imagine how troubling it must have been to be giving birth to your child in a place unfamiliar to you - no family there to support you or help the process. It was just the two of them, Mary and Joseph, and this promised infant. They lacked the safety that would come with the inn’s walls. Instead of laying her child in a bed or even a basket, Mary laid her firstborn and promised son in a manger. But still, she was able to wrap him and find a place for him to rest, despite it seeming all was against them.

Let us also consider this with the promise delivered to Mary just the chapter before by the angel Gabriel, who said in Luke 1:30-33, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most Hight. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

This child would be a very important one - the most important one ever born, in fact. He would have been worthy of the greatest of welcomes, brought into this world in the highest of high places and worshipped by the greatest of the world’s kings, yet He was being born into a manger. The Savior of the world was not born in a castle; he was not even born in an inn. He was born into a world too fallen and too small for Him, but He chose to come nonetheless for the sake of us all. There was a great deal of responsibility for Mary and Joseph surrounding the birth of this child, so having to bring him into this world in a manger might have seemed ill fitting. Still, in the end, these humble circumstances were perfect for the birth of Jesus.

After all, isn’t it fitting in light of the words of Psalmist in Psalm 118:29-24, which reads, “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them, and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

He was born in the humblest of circumstances, seemingly rejected and delegated to a manger rather than the comfortable room His status as the Son of God entitled Him to, but of course, this is only right in light of Paul’s words in Philippians 2:5-9, which says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.”

These humble circumstances, then, were the perfect opportunity for the Saviors humility to be demonstrated, even beyond entering our world as an infant. The nativity is rich, both as a highlight point of our faith and as an example of humility, so let us remember these things when we look upon the nativity and all of its parts.

The Richness of the Nativity & Holy Land Olive Wood

In light of all that has been said, we are more than happy to offer you an opportunity to have a nativity for yourself, and not just any nativity either! We believe that a Holy Land Olive Wood hand carved nativity is an especially meaningful display. Though an olive wood nativity set is quite beautiful in appearance, it is ultimately humble in its creation. These are not mass produced products, but instead each one is made by just one individual, his or her tools, and a piece of olive wood. We believe wood carving is a beautifully profound art form of humble origins, and as such we believe it is also the perfect medium to depict the story of our Savior’s humble birth. Even if you have a great nativity set of your own, consider trying out of Holy Land Olive Wood hand carved nativity from us; we believe you’ll be able see and feel that it really is something special!