Today we finish our examination of the elements that made up the very first nativity scene. I pray our study has rekindled your love for Christmas. So far, we have looked at Mary, Joseph, the stable, the manger, Jesus, the animals and the angels.

The next element of the very first nativity is the shepherds. God chose shepherds as the first Christmas audience. Shepherds were the social and religious outcasts of society. They often were illiterate, carrying the scent of dirty animals. Because they lived solitary lives on the outskirts of town, some were criminals, trying to escape the watchful eyes of law enforcement. When the shepherds found the baby Jesus, they couldn’t keep quiet about their discovery. They told everyone (Luke 2:17). What do the shepherds teach us? God wants you to share the story of Jesus with everyone.

The ninth element of the very first nativity is the star. God provided a star as a supernatural light to guide the wise men. God went to extraordinary lengths to direct these men to Bethlehem. What does the star teach us? Be a star in someone’s life; give them Jesus. The best gift you could give this season is the One who came to fill our lives with light, hope and peace.

The last element of the nativity set is the wise men. These magi, or wise men, didn’t make it to the manger. In fact, Jesus was a toddler living in a house by the time they showed up (Matthew 2:8). We also don’t know how many men there were, but we arrive at three because three gifts were given, but each could have given three gifts. Even though their journey took years, they didn’t quit. They kept on following the star until they came to Jesus. What do the wise men teach us? You are wise to bow and offer Jesus your finest gifts.

This Christmas season, make Jesus the center of your home, heart and life. Not only is Jesus the reason for the season, but He is the reason for all the seasons of your life

Allen Tilley is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Carthage.

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