Jesus as Super Hero (Kids and the Nativity)

Two days ’til Christmas.  I hope you’re smiling!

 
It’s been a quiet Christmas season so far at our house, and I’ve had lots of time for reflection.  I always find it interesting how seemingly unrelated thoughts converge …
 
My recently-passed mother-in-law’s legalistic understanding of the Bible and her fear of letting others see the “real” in her life; her fear of dying.
 
Our friend who lost her battle with brain cancer just last week; the one who saw hearts everywhere she went. A woman who chose to embrace death “and do it well,” blessing those around her even as her body drew closer to eternity.
 

 
A “kids and the nativity” story I remembered reading last Christmas at the blog Sit A Spell.  Here’s an excerpt.

Tis the season for nativity sets.  I lovingly unwrap Mary and baby Jesus every year.  The sheep.  The shepherds.   There they sit.  Holy.  Beautiful.  Lovely.

cue:  record scratch

Unless you have kids in the house.  Especially if you have boy kids in the house.

The things poor baby Jesus has been through in this family in years past are truly embarrassing.

I have found him in couch cushions.

In the back of dump trucks.

In the driveway.

I’ve had to bust up tiffs between siblings when baby Jesus was brought into their super hero battles.  It’s just not fair that baby Jesus wins every single time.  Baby Jesus as an action figure is unstoppable…

 
Oh, there’s more if you click on the link above. Much more.
 
I laughed out loud … again and again … as I read.  You see, I’m the mother of two now-grown-up little girls.  There were no disappearing nativity figures at our house, and a nativity set was not the genesis of super hero battles.
 

 

The whole little boy thing was totally foreign to me … until Little Man was born.  So last Christmas, as I read Sit A Spell’s story, LittleMan was 2 years old — and Little Sir was on the way.  Oddly enough, in only two short years, I had already seen with my own eyes and ears just how different little boys can be!  I could only wonder what “manger scene” antics the two little brothers soon to be in our family would eventually get into.  I decided then and there that Nonna and Poppa’s house would have a “grown up” nativity set that two little boys can play with.
 

 
You see, I don’t want the manger to be off-limits.  I don’t want the Baby to be unapproachable. When God chose to send his only son, Jesus, into the world as a human child, it was His gift of love to all mankind … and an invitation for relationship.
 

 
Jesus came to be the Savior, yours and mine.  All we have to do is believe in him … and accept his invitation.
 

 
The relationship needn’t be one of fear or legalism; that suggests a manger that is unapproachable.  Instead, perhaps we should admit that over the past 2000+ years society has deified the place where Jesus was born.  We’ve sculpted beautiful and expensive nativity sets … and displayed them as focal points of ethereal reverence.
 

 
We’ve forgotten that the baby was born amidst the noise and filth of a cattle stall … yet he came to bring peace.  He came as light to a world living in darkness. He came to offer hope.  Still does.  He came as Immanuel:  God WITH us.  Relationship.  Personal.  Approachable.
 

 
Of course I realize the little boys were playing with a toy-like figure, but I still think they had it right when they took Jesus out of his “hands off” environment, allowing him to be part of their everyday … to be WITH them … in their noisy, sometimes inharmonious, “real world” of humanity.  Somehow, I think they knew he was right where he wanted to be.  Kids understand.  They know they don’t have to change a thing before letting Jesus join their reality.  They just have to invite him into their story … and he accepts them right where they are.
 
He does the same for grown-ups, too …
 

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

 
 

Merry Christmas

 
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Seasonal Sunday at The Tablescaper

Comments

  1. Good Morning! I absolutely love this post Susan. Amen! This is so well said. As a mother of boys I can relate to the action figure Jesus. I never had a really “nice” manager, only older chipped up hand me down ones and even toy mangers. Then after my boys were older a friend bought one for me after hearing me exclaim how beautiful I thought it was. It was not expensive but was new,glazed shiny, and so pretty. I am so glad you posted this, and I pray I never let my nicer manger be too nice for any curious or mischievous hands that dare to approach it. All of yours are so very pretty! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

  2. Oh, thank Heaven… for little boys! This is precious! Our Firstborn wants four sons, no girls. Haha! She’ll be a fantastic mother of sons… and I will SURE enjoy those grandsons, too. *wink*

    Merry Christmas!
    Kelley

  3. You gave me a smile this morning, dear Susan. Sending love to you and those you hold dear.♥

    Merry Christmas. Joy to the world.

  4. What a wonderful post, Susan. I really loved hearing about Baby Jesus in the back of dump trucks and as the “winning” action figure. Shows they had their priroities straight because as you said, Jesus is very much in the here and very, very real. Thanks for sharing.

    I had stopped by last night to wish you a Merry Christmas, and I do so again.

    XO,

    Sheila

  5. Indeed! What a wonderful lesson: baby Jesus SHOULD be found in couch cushions and dump trucks. This is fabulous!
    Merry Christmas!
    Nancy

  6. What a great post! Yes, Jesus is approachable and we can take him with us always. I like the parallels.
    Blessings.

  7. Oh what a lovely inspiring post, I so enjoy stopping by your “house” for a visit! I wanted to make sure I stopped by and wished you and your family a Merry Christmas.
    Blessings,
    Gayle

  8. Susan- What a wonderful post- I should be in bed but I wanted to read about your friend’s collection of hearts, too. I love that you have made Jesus approachable in your house. I have the Fisher-Price one for the kids…and, as you know, we now have Jesus, Mary and Pedro because Joseph went shopping and never came home. Blessings to you- xo Diana

  9. Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hugs and prayers for your whole family!

  10. I enjoy your blog…just found you while searching for a picture. I really like the picture with the illuminated c in the Christmas means… photo. Would that be available anywhere now? Or do you know the artist? Thanks for any response and Merry Christmas!

    • Lisa, welcome to My Place to Yours! I’m so glad you stopped by. The picture you asked about is actually a Christmas card I received many years ago. I framed it because I love its beautiful Truth and simply elegant design. I’m sorry, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

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