On Day 12 of our “Christmas Goodies”, we shall reflect on “The Christmas Crib ”
WHAT IT IS?
A crib is a special display, particularly during the Season of Christmas, of objects, statues and figures, representing the scene of the Birth of Jesus.
A crib is also called as a creche, or nativity scene or a manger scene.
WHAT ELEMENTS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS CHRISTMAS GOODIE -“THE CHRISTMAS CRIB?”
- The Crib is perhaps the most visual form of depicting the message of Christmas
The Christmas Crib contains the characters that are associated with the Birth of Christ.
As a result, it immediately brings to mind the story of Christmas.
Thus, it becomes one of the most effective ways of conveying the Gospel message, recounting the Christmas events and putting forward, especially to our non-Christian people, the reasons for this holy season
- The Crib reminds us of St Francis of Assisi and his contagious love for Christ
The tradition of the Christmas Crib was initiated by St Francis of Assisi in 1223.
St Francis told his friend, Giovanni Vellita, a landowner in Greccio, Italy “If now it seems good to you that we should celebrate this feast together, go before me to Greccio and prepare everything as I tell you.
I desire to represent the birth of that Child in Bethlehem in such a way that with our bodily eyes we may see what He suffered for lack of the necessities of a newborn babe, and how He lay in a manger between the ox and ass”.
Greccio became a mini-Bethlehem with St Francis preaching a beautiful sermon.
It tells of the contagious and passionate love of the Saint and his amazing zeal to make God known and loved to all
- The Crib is a reminder for the family/community to become like the Holy Family
The Crib or the Nativity Scene is usually prepared and placed in the house, or church or schools or institutions or public places
It’s presence is to be a challenge and a reminder to the community there, to imitate and live like the Holy Family – in unity, trusting God and seeking to only do His Will at all times, despite any hardships or problems
- A Christmas Crib is a representation of the ideals that we cherish in our hearts
A Christmas Crib presents the perfect picture of various ideals – acceptance of God’s Will in one’s love and the reward of trusting in Him faithfully; the humility and lowliness of the Divine; the joy and simplicity of the simple; the intense desire and longing of the wise; the mockery of the wise of the world before the grandeur of Divine Wisdom.
These ideals, which are beautifully depicted, in an inspiration and an impelling factor, for us to also follow and be fervent in practising those ideals.
- A gathering around the Crib becomes a moment of prayer and coming together
In many places, there is the custom of reverently placing Baby Jesus in the Crib, followed by prayer or reading of the Bible to re-tell the Christmas story etc.
Such practices bring together the various people, bind them with a common purpose in Christ and become moments of “prayer wrapped in festivity”
- The preparation for making the Crib is a wonderful tradition that unites people.
One of the common and popular preparatory tasks for the Christmas Season, is the preparation for the Christmas Crib
This becomes an occasion for many to come together, share their joys, sorrows and experiences while making the crib and to heal many past differences in being united to create a “representational home for Christ”
- The Crib has a direct conclusion that one should prepare the Crib in one’s heart.
Many times a lot of time, labour, money and creativity goes in the preparation of the Crib.
But all these efforts would be enshrined in golden grace, only if one takes care to prepare the Crib in one’s heart
Yes, Jesus loves a Christmas Crib…but much more than that, He wishes to born in our hearts and in our lives
Only then, would the Christmas Crib come to have its true meaning!
WHAT RESOLUTIONS CAN I PRACTISE TODAY?
Today I will seek to make my life a Gospel – good news for the other, being filled with a passionate love for Christ and spreading His Love to all.
Today I will seek to become a person of unity and prepare my heart to give Christ, His due and worthy place in my life
Lord, may the Christmas Crib inspire me to prepare a place for you in my heart, and may my life always be a representation of Your Gospel Virtues, Amen!
MARANATHA – COME, LORD JESUS!
We welcome you into our hearts! God Bless!