nativity 1. Someone's birth; the place, time and circumstances of a birth (from 14th c.)
The word "nativity" derives from the latin word, "nativitas" which means "birth." In Christian tradition "nativity" refers to the birth of Jesus Christ, both the arrival of Jesus and the miraculous circumstances. For centuries people have depicted the Nativity scene in Bethlehem in various forms: from wooden models, to paintings, to theatre dramatizations. The depiction of this scene draws us into the wonder of Christmas. This practice dates back to Francis of Assisi, who created a live action representation of the manger scene in 1223. In my own family, we had an impressionistic wooden nativity scene purchased in the modern Bethlehem area. These unpainted wooden pieces had smooth features were displayed in our living room. The naked wood grain was both a testament to the Israeli origin and a call to remember Jesus with simplicity. The carved models acted as a prompt for us to reread the bible story as a family with wonder.
In the bible story each of the nativity characters goes on a unique journey. What calls and draws them to the manger depends on their role and relationship to Jesus. Each of these journeys gives us a glimpse into the joy of Christmas. Every week we will examine one of the key characters and ask what they tell us about the Christmas message.
Join us on Sundays either in-person or online at our 11am Service for our Advent message series entitled "Nativity.
To view the latest messages in this series, please go to our sermons page.