I love walking through our house at Christmas because we have nativity sets in every room. They are constant reminders of God’s precious gifts to humanity. During December, we are examining each element of the very first nativity scene to rekindle our love for Christmas. Let’s look at the next three elements.

The fifth essential element of the first nativity is Jesus. He took an incredible journey to Bethlehem. He was willing to lay aside the unimaginable glory of heaven to become one of us. God took on human flesh so He could communicate with us, to tell us that He loves us. He also took on human flesh so he could die for our sins. Jesus became one of us so we could be like Him, and we could live in heaven with Him. What does the baby Jesus at the nativity teach? God became like you so that you can become like Him.

The sixth element of the first nativity is the animals. Jesus was born in a barn. What do you find in barns? Animals. The first to witness the birth of the Savior were beasts of the earth. During His time on earth, Jesus had an amazing sway over animals. He could make hundreds of fish swim into a net (Luke 5). He rode an unbroken colt into Jerusalem (Matthew 21). The birds and flowers don’t worry because they know Jesus takes care of them (Matthew 6). What do the animals teach us? All of creation recognizes Jesus as Lord and so should we.

The seventh element of the first nativity is the angels. In Luke 2:10-11, the angels announce the birth of Jesus by telling us we no longer have to fear. There is a great deal of stress and fear in our lives today. We are more afraid this Christmas than we were last Christmas. If any message needs to be told this Christmas season, it’s the message the angels delivered — Fear not! Don’t be afraid! Allow the angelic message to sink deep into your heart. Instead of worrying, trust in Jesus at Christmas and throughout your life.

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

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