Thursday, December 10, 2009

my nativity has six wisemen

my nativity set has issues. It's a wooden stable with plastic figurines glued inside. The shepherd broke some years ago so that only his feet and a small patch of grass were left in the manger scene. Broken off at the legs is a tough way to go... and no amount of glue could reassemble feet to legs (as witnessed by the oozed and now solidified glue stuck to the once attached legs of said shepherd boy). You'll be happy to know I have pried up the patch of grass and feet and now my manger scene is shepherdless.

Joseph became unattached from the stable last year. Intact, but removable - in case Mary would like to try it on her own. But, assumedly raising the Son of God is not recommended as a single-parent activity.

I have various animal figurines that are actually several sizes larger than the human figurines, so Mary and company are either all dwarfs, or the animals in Bethlehem are freakishly large. A three-legged sheep watches over the baby Jesus. A large three-legged shepherdless sheep.

There are six wisemen. Three are glued within the manger scene, watching over Mary's shoulder as she watches over the babe, and three (sized extra-large) stand outside with their camels, also extra large. I post them because perhaps little extra wisdom (or at the very least a little more gold) might help us all.

All this to illustrate something... perhaps that it's easier to accept and find room on my countertop for a mixed-media manger scene (Oh little plastic Son of God), than to actually find room in my heart for Christmas this year. I used to be a real fanatic about the Jesus stuff. Got more Bibles than any one person really needs. and I can beat myself up pretty well when I think about losing the faith... but here in my kitchen/living room on the countertop bar next to my foot-and-a-half tall pre-lit Christmas tree is a plastic metamorphosis. a momentary revelation. and maybe my religion is as mixed up as my manger these days - but I have a feeling that plastic Baby Jesus has a little grace for me.

So, I'll keep plugging in the small naked light bulb that is supposed to be coming from some star over the manger. And I'll think about Christmas and faith and the kind of room needed for all representations of the love and peace and joy we all want at the holidays and throughout the year - no matter what or whom we believe in. ...or even if we don't know, anymore.

Dear plastic Baby Jesus, is there hope for us yet?
I hope so.