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Welcoming Baby Jesus

Church entrance with landscaping and a welcoming door
Date:  November 30, 2022

In the wooden stable of my nativity set nestle
intricately carved tissue-wrapped figures:
the stalwart ox, the donkey with his long
pointed ears, two sheep with woolly coats,
gentle Mary kneeling in humility and Joseph
standing with his staff stolidly and protectively.
One by one I take them out, unwrapping each
and placing it carefully in the stable, where
they once again await the arrival of the littlest
of figures. It is as if they know, these hushed
carved figures, that a sacred birth is at hand.
As Christmas morning dawns, I tenderly
unwrap the baby Jesus and place Him in His
manger on a small piece of soft white cloth.
Look; see how the carver has crafted
this baby so that one tiny arm is stretched out;
every year He seems to be reaching toward us
in invitation. His eyes are fixed on mine; a
sweet smile is on his lips. “Come to me,” He
seems to be saying.
All around the world, in nativity scenes near
and far, someone else is tenderly placing the
baby Jesus in a manger in a stable. Once again
His wondrous birth calls us to adore Him,
wherever we are, whatever language we speak,
whatever our skin color, whatever clothes we wear.
We are one family in His love for us and ours for Him.
Lord Jesus, we accept Your invitation. You come
at Christmas as a tiny child to bring us Your peace.
We welcome you with joy into our homes and hearts.

Copyright © by Peggy Eastman, 2022

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