Introduction to our 2015 Advent Devotions
“The Nativity Story and the Stories of our Nativities” was selected as the theme for our 2015 Advent – Epiphany Devotional. As many of you know our pastor, Dr. Steve Negley has collected quite a number of nativity sets over the years. Most people have at least one nativity set included among their Christmas decorations. I thought it would be interesting for us as a congregation to see the treasured nativities of our members and to learn the stories of them.
Our nativity sets may have dated back to our childhood years. They may have been acquired in one of our travels. They may have been a gift to us. They may have been hand crafted just for us. They may have been purchased by us after years of searching for just the right one. They may be simple and crude or elaborate and precious.
They may be made of crystal, fabric, metal, porcelain, resin or wood. They may have only the members of the Holy Family or they may include animals, angels, shepherds and wise men as well as other Bethlehemites, that may have called on Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus as they found shelter in a stable. They may not be a nativity set as such, but the figures may take form on a sculpture or a plate or be represented on a tree skirt or wall hanging,.
Many of them have attained a special place in our homes where they are displayed year after year. Some small nativities may be kept out year round as a reminder of how God so loved the world that He gave His son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. So there are stories related to our nativity sets and these are what your friends share with you as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth once again. Also, on these pages you will find a scripture verse and a brief prayer to assist you in your daily devotional time from the First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2015, through Epiphany, January 6, 2016.
I hope you will enjoy these personal stories and that the accompanying scripture and prayer will heighten your appreciation of The Story of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.