The Importance of a Nativity and Why You Would Want to Display One
There are many to whom the nativity story has a religious significance. On the other hand, there are also many to whom the nativity story has no religious meaning whatsoever. Rather, it is a beautiful story and an enjoyable holiday tradition. Displaying an indoor or outdoor nativity scene is a great way to unify people from different backgrounds and beliefs. People gather together around a nativity scene to remember the traditional Christmas story, enriched by the positive symbolism that can be found through out the story. Here are the top three symbols in the story that are universally applicable and can be enjoyed by the secular and non-secular alike.
The Manger: Renewal of Life and Hope for Humanity
A wooden or stone manger is typically used to feed livestock. In the Nativity story, the Christ child was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger to sleep. This placement of the child in the manger symbolizes how the magic of birth and the renewal of life can be nourishing to our souls. People all over the world, rich or poor, tend to see the world in a new light when they are around newborn babies. The innocence of these newborns renews our hope in humanity, revitalizes our appreciation for the simple things in life, and re-energizes our desire to make the world a better place for the next generation.
Shepherds: Every Person Matters
In the Nativity story, an angel first appeared to shepherds watching over their flocks in a field and shared the good news that the Christ child was born. The fact an angel appeared first to the most humble group in society, is a good reminder that every person matters, even those that are often invisible or forgotten. When we see shepherds in a nativity scene at Christmas, we should take a moment to contemplate how we can better empathize with others and appreciate the value of every member of the human race.
The Star: Live a Meaningful Life
The three wise men were dependent on the Star of Bethlehem to find their way to the new born king. It was a long journey for them as they came from a distant land, but they knew that the star was constant and that it would guide them to their end goal. This journey gave them purpose as they sought to affirm their faith by seeing the child for themselves. We too need a purpose in life. And just as the wise men were dependent on the Star of Bethlehem to get to their end goal, we too can choose to let people into our lives that are positive and encouraging to help direct us along a path to find happiness. For many, this path to happiness is affirmed by living a meaningful life that contributes to the betterment of humanity and that embrace the love of family and friends. May we all have a light that guides us to happiness.