From the District Superintendent

Who Are You Inviting?

Posted 20 December, 2016 by Rev. Kathleen Overby Webster

nativitycompressEach year part of my Advent-Christmas-Epiphany celebration is marked by decorating our house with wreaths circled with ribbon, a fresh-cut tree hung with ornaments, candles lighting the windows, and nativities.  Some nativities are carved from wood, others cast in metal. Some are brightly colored, others etched in clear glass. Some are miniature, others fill a tabletop. Some we bought back from our travels. Others were gifted to us. Some were the work of master artisans, others were crafted by children, and still others were massed produced. 

     About 20 years ago, when our son Joel, was just starting school, a set was given to us by the family that made it. The pieces were cut from wood and then brightly painted.  Everyone in their family had a hand. Baby Jesus, swaddled in white, lies in a brown manger. Mary, kneeling, is robed in deep blue; Joseph, bearded, in forest green. The shepherds, staffs in hand, wear orange, brown, and khaki. The magi, bearing gifts, are clothed in crimson red, lemon yellow, and lime green. The standing angel's robe is purple and the kneeling one's is yellow. The animals are present too, grey donkey, white sheep, brown camel, orange cow, and pink pig.  

Yes, a pink pig! How surprising! How delightful!

      As we move beyond the manger, "taking Jesus to the streets", as Bishop Lewis challenged us, who are you surprised and delighted to see standing next to Jesus?  Foreign magi bearing strange gifts, smelly and exuberant shepherds, pink pigs...who is God inviting you to bring to the manger, to stand with Jesus, to take to Jesus?

In Advent joy, peace and hope,             Kathleen