Each of You and All of You,
Lighting a candle tonight: Re-imaging the Nativity Scene, Baby Jesus as King of the Universe
The scene of the Nativity of Jesus is still exhibited and cherished by many parts of society. The first record of it is on the walls of the catacombs by St. Valentine in 325. The most well-known iteration of it is by St. Francis of Assisi as a living Nativity Scene in 1225. Since then, society has modified it according to cultural norms and yes, even agendas.
At a Mass for school children I heard a beautiful review of sacramental signs used in Catholic worship at which Fr. Nagle reclaimed genuflecting in front of the tabernacle to the “King of the Universe.” Wow!! Yes, in an age of Superheroes and babies devalued, Baby Jesus did need a re-image. From my 5” resin figure of Jesus, he became a Jesus figure measuring 24” from top of halo to tip of toes.
This re-image lends credibility to us that He is the “King of the Universe” who created the Eternal Law of Design and Order (Science) and Who suspends it in the virgin birth, the hypostatic union, and transubstantiation. Let technical theology have a “go” at it but the image of the Supreme Being here has created a beholders’ Heart Folder in which to file the fancy words.
Lighting a candle tonight: Re-imaging the Purpose of the Nativity Scene, Christmas Eve and the Present of the Apple
The second change is an addition I made to The Nativity Scene this year. The addition is to place an apple in the manger with Jesus. The very first theology course I took in college was on Salvation History. But Salvation History doesn’t end with the Nativity nor the Crucifixion and the Resurrection as the course did, it continues around the world to Each of us and All of us for All Time. Indeed, Christ was born for all the sins of all time.
Fr. Nagle at St. Monica Church in Mercer Island, WA in his Christmas Homily on Vimeo tells so beautifully and skillfully this neglected story of Christmas Eve from a French conte. In the still of the night, a severely wrinkled, bent over woman dressed in rags scuffles into the stable. The Babe who had been asleep opens His eyes and His and the visitor’s eyes meet in hope. The woman fumbled around in the rags of her clothes and placed the apple of her deception and that of those who followed her into the Infant’s hand. Handing off this apple to the Babe, she became transformed and regained the vigor of her youth enabling her to even stand upright. The Infant held the apple as an orb of the redeemed world kingdom. “The source of our Joy at Christmas is gratitude for our salvation. Because of that baby, lay your sins down at the manger that’s why he came.” Fr. urges us to come to the stable and lay our sins in the manger and be transformed from what is weighing us down.
We thank you, Lord…..
Could song fill our mouth as water fills the sea
And joy flood our tongue like countless waves,
Could our lips utter praise limitless as the sky…
Never could we fully state our gratitude for one ten-thousandth of the lasting love
Which is Your precious blessing, dearest God, granted to our ancestors and us.”
Those who celebrate Shabbat rejoice in Your kingship, hallowing the seventh day, calling it a delight…”
Lighting a candle tonight: For you, my Treasures. God love you. God bless you.
We are sacred to each other.
Tell me why the stars do shine
Tell me why the ivy twines
Tell me why the sky's so blue
And then I'll tell you just why I love you
Because God made the stars to shine
Because God made the ivy twine
Because God made the sky's so blue
Because God made you, that's why I love you.