Decorating for Christmas.
That was the scene last Saturday when Cathy and I broke out all the boxes and prepared our home for the holidays. I described recently how our tree ornaments bring back the memories of decorating as a family project. The tree stayed in the box this year (sorry Becki -- it wasn't real anyway) because we will head off to see family early Christmas morning.
I still had an emotional moment, though. It came as I put together a manger scene. A very kind lady gave this set to us over 25 years ago. It was -- and is -- a treasure. This year something about it changed and I discovered I had a problem.
You see the angel hovering above the stable? That one came with the original gift. Last year, though, Cathy's mom gave us another one. What would I do with that second angel?
I placed it in several different positions and nothing seemed to work. Placing the shepherds and the Magi where each was focusing on the Babe brought the significance of the moment into focus. The thought of the creator of the universe (see Colossians 1:16) humbling Himself to become a human baby and be born in the most meager of circumstances is overwhelming.
It was deciding where to put that second angel that caused me to think about this event from their point of view. The Bible occasionally pulls back the curtains on these heavenly beings. We can see that they are created beings (So are we!). Operating in the spiritual realm, they have a much clearer view of the glory of God than we experience here on earth. We discover in Scripture that they can abandon God (and many of them did along with Lucifer). What they can't do is return from their fall.
Why? I don't know. But it's this fact that must have blown their angelic minds. They know our history. They see the mess we are making of the world. They perceive our hopelessness.
And they understood that night that God Himself was coming to earth to be born as one of us. So he could pay the necessary price for restoring our relationship with Him. The one we had broken.
I placed that second angel in the stable. Near the Christ child. The people present couldn't begin to appreciate the meaning of that moment. But I think the angels had a pretty good idea. The Baby nestled against the wood of that manger would later be nailed to the wood of a cross.
When I thought about it I wept.
I would love to hear how this impacts you.