A gift worth wrapping

"And the angel said... Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:10–14).

Modern-day Nativity scenes intend reverence for the birth of Jesus and the advent of Christianity. Yet when the baby Jesus is represented by a lifeless doll in a basket of straw, feeling inspired can be a mental stretch. And after the props are stowed, it may be the memories of giggling angels, or the kid who dropped the star, that bring smiles to lips and warmth to hearts. Each year, thoughtful people wrestle with the question: How does the purpose of Jesus' life fit in with the glitter and rustle of paper wrappings? People genuinely eager to serve the Christ try to reconcile it all.

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December 20, 2004

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