Hope Found in the Nativity
Linda Butti shares a very personal story of hope found in a nativity
Christmas, the time for the Nativity to come out in most homes. In my family we would decorate the Christmas tree together then my mother would put out the Nativity under the tree. Loved that Nativity (still have it). It was a simple wooden creche with the cream color, plastic nativity figures. It was gold to me and my mother would let me play with it, As long as it stayed under the tree! That was ok with me. I would pick up each figure and smooth it with my fingers: the baby Jesus in the cradle, Mother Mary, Joseph, the Shepard boy and his sheep; the kings who came to visit. They were simple figures that meant more to me though I was not sure why.
My parents had been to church when they were young. My mother attended a Methodist Church, my father, The Brethren church, but we did not go. My parents weren't very religious. Dad worked most weekends with a big well drilling company and my mother did not drive. My sister in her teen years had taken us, my 2 brothers and I to the local Methodist-Episcopal Church at the 5 corners. That was the first time I was chosen to play the angel in the Christmas Pagent. Only because I was the tallest in the group. That was fine for me. I still remember being all dressed up looking over the Christ child. It was golden to me.
Shortly after this the pastor of the church kicked us out because our parents would not come. Even though my sister explained that my Father was working and Mom didn't drive. It didn't matter, we were booted out.
That did not stop my love for the Nativity. The precious Christ Child reminded me that there was, is, something greater out there. Bigger than this crazy world around me. The Nativity was my lifeline until I met God face to face many years later. The experience was all golden to me.