Nativity scenes are part of the Christmas tradition. They started in the 10th century with St. Francis of Assisi. Today, they come in all shapes, sizes, and cultures, but they still all have one thing in common. Jesus is the center of it all! They all tell the Christmas story about Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the animals, and the wise men. What they show us the most, is how it all revolves around Jesus. Like the sun in our solar system, Jesus is the One from which everything else draws light, energy, and strength.
The nativity can also represent your life. What is in the center of your life? What is your life focused on? What does your life revolve around? Life does not make sense unless Jesus is in His rightful place. Could it be the problem in your life is it is not set up right? You are not focused on the right thing? Jesus may be in your life, but is He pushed over to the side?
Sometimes we put the Wise Men in the center. After all they are the largest, tallest, and most majestic. You see them with crowns, turbans, and long beautiful robes. They represent fame, success, dreams, education, wealth. What are you searching for? Living for? Money, achievement, fame, education, popularity, they will all let you down.
The Shepherds represent work. They were blue collar workers, working the night shift. We spend most of our time at work. 9:00-5:00, or longer, most days of the week. Many people give their best to their jobs. The bible says it is good to work, but work can’t be what you live for in life. Jesus is the only One worthy of our best.
Many would say Animals certainly wouldn’t be what life revolves around. Animals of course are pets, but they can also represent travel. Mary likely rode a donkey! They can represent politics – donkeys and elephants. They can represent sports teams. Think of all the different mascots. All of these things will let you down if they are your main focus in life.
Joseph and Mary represent relationships, family. Healthy relationships make us happy and unhealthy ones make us miserable. Why do you get so hurt sometimes? Maybe it’s because you put pressure on people to do something only God can do.
Our lives have to be set up right. God is a god of order. We must put everything in its place and decide where Jesus goes. Colossians 1:15-17 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.” Firstborn is not a time but a title. Every President’s wife is called the first lady. They are not the first lady. Eve was the first lady. The President’s wife holds rank and order because of her connection to the one in charge. Because of His connection to the Father, Jesus is the firstborn. Everything was created by Him. If you have something that breaks, what do you do? You take it back to the one who made it. If you feel like your life is falling apart, invite Jesus to take His rightful place. When you do that, even when life is falling apart, He holds it all together. When storms come, I have an anchor for the soul.
Every calendar year ends with Christmas. One week later a new year begins. We get a fresh start. Christmas reminds us Jesus came to give us new life. The wise men studied the heavenly bodies, the movement of the stars. They are called “Magi,” where we get the word magic. They were religious but their present religion was not working for them. They saw His star and it got their attention. Be encouraged today that God can meet you where you are. God knows how to get your attention. The wise men were sincerely trying to figure out life. If that is you, you are in good company.
Jesus is the center of it all. This Christmas, will you put Him at the center of your life? Start 2024 with your life in the right order.
 Tony Evans Bible Commentary, pg. 1251