Something Missing

Published December 20, 2012

Luke 2:1-20 (Birth of Christ)

For years I have decorated the outside of my house in celebration of Christmas. I have always used a mix of old and new in my Christmas theme. I have received many accolades from my neighbors on how beautiful and unique my Christmas theme has been. I did not understand what was unique about it until certain comments from my neighbors put it into perspective for me.

I have the traditional and common strands of icicles hanging from the eaves. There are several strands of clear and multicolored lights wrapped around my landscape of tree and bushes. I have illuminated figurines of Santa, Rudolf, and Frosty the Snowman. The strand of large illuminated candy canes and Christmas mints is suspended from the porch archway. The front entry door has the beautiful and properly centered Christmas wreath. It all makes for a very festive and modern atmosphere.

But two items generate more comment than any others. The first is my brightly lit pink flamingo with a bright red and glittery Christmas scarf wrapped around his neck. It doesn’t really fit in but I love it for its uniqueness. Also it was a gift from my oldest daughter and I cherish it! The second item that gets the greatest amount of comments and questions is my nativity scene.

Nativity scenes used to be traditional and prominently displayed but now are considered ‘old school’. I have and will always enjoy scenes of the baby Jesus lying in the manger surrounded by his parents Mary and Joseph, the Three Wise Men, and an angel or two announcing His birth. For the more elaborate nativity scenes there was also a variety of animals depicted such as a donkey, lamb, and camels. What a beautiful scene of peace and contentment! Unfortunately this is no longer the case. They have been removed from almost all public settings and sadly they are not commonly displayed in the private sector either. How sad this is! I offer no apology if it makes me ‘old school’ to prominently display the nativity scene in my Christmas decorations!

I did not realize the uniqueness of my nativity scene until I was asked about a particular item that was missing from my scene one year. In fact I did not even consider the item missing to be unique in its use in a nativity scene. To me personally, it has been and always will be a central part of my nativity scene. I never considered the idea that you could recognize the birth of Christ if you did not display and acknowledge the reason for His birth too.

 Something Was Missing! What item was missing from my nativity scene that year?  What was so unique about this missing item that my neighbors would question its absence? Why was it so important to replace it?

Answers to these questions in my next entry.

Until then, be encouraged as we continue to celebrate the Reason for the season,


Rev. Dave Larsen (Chaplain Compassion Nevada)

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