Christmas Traditions at Home
Is your home decorated for the Christmas celebration? Do you have certain Christmas traditions that include over-the-top festive decorations, vintage items, or simple meaningful ones? The Metropolitan Museum in New York City is keeping up with their Christmas traditions. Every year since 1957, beneath the tree a beautiful eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene exhibitsÂ and since 1964 more than 200 Neapolitan crÃ¨che figures dating back to the 18th century have been given to the Museum by Loretta Hines Howard.
This year the nativity sits under a 20-foot blue spruce, a tradition which is part of Northern Europe, and all reside in front of the 18th-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid. The scene beneath the tree is reminiscent of a Mediterranean harbor town’s multicultural landscape with an array of life-life figures of silk-robed angels hovering above.
59 angels with 19 cherubs gracefully suspend themselves in the artfully lit tree over the blessed nativity. The base has 71 figures that belong to the 18th-century Naples with the familiar scene of usual characters; shepherds roused from sleep by the multitudes of angels, the exotic wise men process in their dignified journey, and in the center, the star of the exhibit; the Christ child surrounded by Mary and Joseph. The display also contains 50 animals along with townspeople and peasants.
However, the unexpected element of the scene is that the stable and characters are not in the small expected town of Bethlehem but among the ruins of a Roman temple with several quaint houses, and even an Italian fountain. The delicate manger lies amongÂ broken and decaying columns showing that the Word became human and chose His home among us. The unexpected new world finds itselfÂ in the broken surrounding of the old.
Fully Divine and Fully Human
Our fully divine God became fully human. Because He chose to come to us, we can know God completely as visible and real through Jesus. Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form. Experienced are His unfailing love and faithfulnessÂ since He came to us to make His home.
So, the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14 (NLT)
As you move into the festive celebration of Christmas give complete attention to Him who knows you fully for because of such you can depend completely upon Him. When you have Christ in your life you have everything you need for salvation and righteous living. Rethink the meaning of truly being home as you approach His birth with reverence knowing that God came to be with you because of His great love for you.
Challenge the meaning of home recognizing that home is where Christ is. Be convicted by the facts of Christ’s ability to be both fully divine and fully human. Allow your motivations in life to come from His overwhelming love.
So, whether you celebrate His birth with artistic pomp and circumstance or the stark simplicity of sharing His love through the story of His birth surround yourself in the comfort of home, the place where Christ lives. Know fully that it is only through Him and His choice to come and make His home on earth that you can find peace on earth and eternity.
May you remember to make Him part of your home plans this Christmas and beyond.
Love in Christ,
One lovely moonlit night a grandfather and his small granddaughter went for a walk. The stars were magnificent. As the grandfather named stars and constellations, the granddaughter exclaimed, ”Grandpa, if the bottom side of Heaven is this beautiful, just think how wonderful the top side must be.”
What are your thoughts?
Do you think of home as where Christ is? Have you considered fully the peace found through knowing Christ as both divine and human? Share your thoughts on making Him part of your home plans.