The last time I saw this nativity set was while visiting church member Christine Stephens during her terminal illness. Christmas decorations were somewhat limited due to circumstances of that fall, but her husband, Argyle, displayed a couple of beautiful nativity sets for them to enjoy. When Argyle moved north, he gifted me with this reminder of the faith we share.
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
God, just like in the story that led up to the birth of Jesus, many wonderful people touch our lives with their faithful actions. In this holy season, let us give thanks for how You grace our lives with neighbors and friends in Christ. Amen.