Preparing to Celebrate the Birth of Our Savior: Olive Wood Nativity Set

By: Steve Negley

Posted: November 29, 2021

Category: Daily Devotional

As we move through the days and weeks until Christmas, our 2021 Advent Devotions will focus on the Daily Readings from the Old and New Testament, and nativity sets found around our church and in the homes of church staff and members. Each day, we hope to prepare ourselves to fully celebrate the coming of our Savior, Jesus.

Isaiah 1:1-9

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

The Wickedness of Judah

Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib;
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.

Ah, sinful nation,
people laden with iniquity,
offspring who do evil,
children who deal corruptly,
who have forsaken the Lord,
who have despised the Holy One of Israel,
who are utterly estranged!

Why do you seek further beatings?
Why do you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and bleeding wounds;
they have not been drained, or bound up,
or softened with oil.

Your country lies desolate,
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
aliens devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
And daughter Zion is left
like a booth in a vineyard,
like a shelter in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.
If the Lord of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we would have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.

Once again, our church building is now ready for us to begin the Season of Advent, and our preparation for the celebration of the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem. As a part of our “Deck the Halls” gathering on November 21, our olive wood nativity set was once again placed on display in the narthex. This gift to the church was purchased by church members on a trip to the Holy Land over 50 years ago. It is now time to remember God’s plan for our redemption.


Wonderful God, once again, as the world seems to have lost its way, we need to know of Your redeeming love. Just as You did not abandon Judah and Jerusalem forever, we know that You come calling again to those who long for a savior. Be known to us again as the Prince of Peace, as we open our hearts to the Christ Child during this holy season. Amen.