Many years ago I began purchasing the Fontanini nativity. It was in our young wedded days when we had just started our family and money was tight. Through the years I was able to collect many of the pieces. It is a beautiful nativity, but I found it overwhelming, so I have not put it out on display for many years.
I had thought about selling it, and that is still an option. I got it out to take a picture to list it and decided that I am enjoying it for the first time.
According to Merriam-Webster, Nativity is one of many words born of the Latin verb nasci, which means "to be born." The gestation of the word was a long one. "Nasci" developed in Latin into nativitas, meaning "birth," which passed through Middle French as nativité before entering English in the 14th century.
The story of ... THE HOLY FAMILY by Fontanini
"The night was slate blue with golden stars that hung from the sky as if suspended by little hooks. Cold air gusted as families across the Holy Land crawled beneath warm blankets.
Angels looking upon this barren region might have been surprised to find movement outside the city of David. Not Gabriel. God’s archangel knew exactly who the sojourners were as they slowly traveled the expanse of the land leading to the gates of Bethlehem. The angel had been with the woman nine months before. He had delivered wondrous news with words of expectation.
Sitting at her home in wide-eyed innocence, the Virgin Mary was told by Gabriel that she was to be the mother of the Son of God. The event was destined to change the world, and the young woman was afraid, but Gabriel comforted her, and helped her through the coming months. He guided her soul as she prepared for the miracle.
Gabriel also spoke to Joseph, the carpenter, who was betrothed to Mary. Joseph needed to understand the mission his bride was to accomplish. And from the day of his enlightenment, Joseph joined Gabriel to guard Mary’s health as she grew large with the Holy Child and wise in her newfound grace and maturity.
As the birth of Jesus approached, a census was ordered throughout the Holy Land by Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. Law required that everyone travel to the city of their ancestors. The angel Gabriel helped Joseph locate a donkey to ease Mary’s travel burden and accompanied the two on the arduous journey.
Leading Mary over rugged terrain toward Bethlehem was a labor of love for Joseph. How tenderly he walked the donkey, glancing at Mary with each step. Her radiant smile assured Joseph that all was well, as a gatekeeper allowed the couple into Bethlehem, in the late night hours. He observed the woman’s state of maternity, though Mary never uttered a sound, and pointed out the inn before returning to his solitary post.
Since only the stable behind the crowded inn could be found to shelter the two, there was no choice but to make the best of the situation. The couple moved into the straw-filled room. They would share the humble shelter with gentle animals, birds and the still sounds of the night. They would wait out the long hours of Mary’s labor with courage and faith in God’s will.
A hush fell over the stable as midnight passed. A gentle breath of wind extinguished the single candle. Then the sky exploded with light and showers of music! Great choirs of angels could be heard. Each voice serenaded the tiny Child born on that night of nights."
Luke 2:1-20 is where we find the Christmas Story, the true reason behind this special season of love and hope. From the moment that God delivered the news to Mary, through the Angel Gabriel, the season of joy would not cease to light up lives for centuries upon centuries. Jesus Christ remains the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him. John 14:6
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have life forever. Amen
Now my twist & turn to a week of the celebration of life for George H. W. Bush. As I watched the days unfold and marveled at the precision of every move, it reminded me that what we saw is only a tiny light to what it took to prepare for what unfolded. It is like that with God. We only see a tiny part of the picture that we will one day see when we stand face to face with Jesus. Oh, what a day!
Thanking God for the provision of Jesus Christ and the sweet grace gift that is mine. It can be yours, as well.
Fresh Find: Wowza, now this is an icebox!!!