Picturing yourself in the daily life and happenings surrounding Jesus’ birth paints an undeniably moving picture, full of new insights and glimpses of the great intentional love the Father declared in that moment.
Stopping to do this now, during the season of Advent, can create an even more real connection to the truth of the moment – beyond the events that may fill your calendar and all the errands you have on your list.
How can you stop and remind yourself of the miraculousness of the moment of Christ’s birth? One book that continues to gain national acclaim is “The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem,” by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton describes a hustle and bustle around the villages just before Jesus’ birth that may resemble our own activity today as we visit local shops, browse online for religious gifts and make many other preparations.
What you may not know is that the town of Nazareth was one of lowly social status, and as Hamilton describes, would have been a one-stoplight town without access to stores, fast Internet or any other amenities we think of today if the story had happened now. It would have been a town of maybe 100 to 400 people and not one that received any limelight. The town itself was formed around a water spring, which is still present and actively flowing today. Since spring water, says Hamilton, came up from the earth and was constantly moving it was called “living water” by many during the bible days.
How amazing that the King of Kings would be from a humble town of working people, and not a flashy city of wealth. Even more amazing, Hamilton reminds us that Jesus may have been thinking about the living spring of water at Nazareth when he urged others to take a drink from the water where they would “never thirst again.”
Remember the town of Nazareth this year with religious gifts of hope for your family and others. The Printery House, an apostolic work of the Benedictine monks of Conception Abbey, offers stunning Christmas cards depicting the humbleness and humanness of the birth, as well as several gift items. Try the new set of photo ornaments to celebrate and remember this amazing moment.
Another book by Max Lucado, “God Came Near,” invites us to truly focus on the creativity of God and how His hand touches everything all around us, starting with the birth of Christ. The online description of the book helps us draw closer to the humanity of Jesus: “Have you seen the real Jesus – a working man with dirty fingernails and sweaty brow? The helpless baby, born in a dirty stable, and totally dependent upon his teenaged mother? Travel back in time and relive Christ the Son of God becoming man as God Came Near.”
The opening pages of “God Came Near” remind us that the night the Savior was born, few would have noticed or commented about an exhausted young couple who couldn’t find a room at the inn. The next morning, the village would be teeming with activity – shopkeepers and workers tending to their business as usual, not having the slightest clue of what had happened just hours before. Not having a clue that the Light of the World came near in the flesh and lay sleeping just yards away. This year, take notice of the Light of the World with religious gifts like a beautiful Advent candle wreath or candle holder.
Let Advent and Christmas remind you of the miracle of the Birth, and everything else will fall into place. You can find special religious gifts and cards to keep Him at the center from The Printery House, nearing their 60 year of designing and making cards on-site with a team of monks and artists.