It’s a holiday tradition in our house to have a nativity set on display. When the kids were younger, they’d play with it and retell the story of Jesus’ birth. One year, my sons were adventurous and spent an afternoon building a custom nativity out of Legos. It featured a tiny Lego head in a makeshift plastic box for baby Jesus, a moving star, a few other people from their superhero sets, and cute multi-colored block animals. It was a masterpiece. Proudly I asked them to tell me about their creation and they merrily obliged. “Baby Jesus…an angel…the manger…Moses and Sarah…”
STOP! (And insert the sound of a record needle being pulled across a vintage vinyl at 165 decibels.)
Did I hear that correctly? Did my kids really cite Moses and Sarah as Jesus’ parents? They weren’t even contemporaries with one another, and certainly not with Jesus! Unbelievable. Whose kids are these? It’s only the most important birthday in the history of the world and my children totaled it. My first instinct was to ground them to their room to pray and lament over their horrible mistake, but apparently, the look on my face was punishment enough. “Tell me again who these people are,” I urged. Embarrassed by the obviously incorrect answers, the duo declined to further incriminate themselves.
I seized the opportunity to read the familiar story from scripture and set the record straight about Mary and Joseph. It led to a fantastic conversation about the importance of knowing the truth, rather than simply relying on bits and pieces of what someone has told us. In the end, we all got a good laugh from this mistake, and I found solace in knowing they at least remembered Moses and Sarah were in the Bible—somewhere.
Consider this: What are we teaching our children in this season? Do they have a clear understanding of the amazing truth we celebrate at Christmas, or do they have a stronger grasp on shopping and gifts? Just because the biblical account of Jesus’ birth is common, doesn’t mean it should be taken for granted and play runner-up to the adventures of Elf on the Shelf. Be careful to spend your time and energy this season on activities that give you an opportunity to point your children to the heart of God.
The next year when the nativity was taken from the box, I made certain we talked about the significance of the event more than we fussed about where to place it in the house. You can be assured no one dared mutter Moses or Sarah again.
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.