Gene Aspy’s nativity set features “Man’s best friend” as one who came to adore the Baby Jesus.
Gene writes: “The year 2000 was a special year for many reasons. It was the beginning of a new century, the year I began my collection of Italian nativity figures, and the year I adopted my dog Gretchen Rose. I had had other dogs, but Gretchen Rose was special to me, filling a void in my life created by the death of someone very close to me. She was a good dog, a good companion, and loved by everyone. She was always happy and loving to everyone who met her. We become very attached to our pets. When she died I felt as though I had lost a very dear friend. I know many people who can relate to that.
Christmas of the year she died, friends returned from a trip to Germany. They brought me a gift of a hand-carved dog resembling Gretchen Rose. As I said, those who knew her loved her. Later when I was setting up my nativity, I remembered that figure and thought I have the perfect place for it. I put it next to Jesus looking into his face. It looks as though she is keeping watch over him. I know if she had been around then, that is exactly where she would be and what she would be doing. And I believe Jesus would take as much delight in her as I did.
So every Christmas season when I assemble my Italian Nativity, I place her in the same place and I reflect, remember, and hope I can show the same love and devotion to my God as Gretchen Rose showed to me.”
Scripture: Psalm 148:7-12
Thought for the Day: Some elaborate nativity sets have characters in them which are not mentioned in the scriptures. Just because they are not mentioned does not mean that they were not there. Do you really think that shepherds were the only ones to adore the Christ child? If there was a stable, then most certainly livestock was present as perhaps well as a dog and/or cat.
Prayer: Divine Creator, we often sing these wonderful lyrics, “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.” We join with all creation in praising Your name. We are grateful for pets that enrich our lives and so it is easy for us to imagine their curiosity to see the Holy Child born in Bethlehem long ago. Amen.