As the days of December creep ever closer to Christmas, I find myself becoming more introspective and reflective in relation to the season. The parties and programs, for the most part, are over, the Christmas cards have been mailed, and the packages have been wrapped and sent. Now comes the time to quiet down and enjoy time at home with my family.
Given that it is the Christmas season, it is no surprise that I have a number of nativity sets around the house. What might be surprising, however, is the number and variety of sets that I have. Some are ones that are meant to be kept up and out of the reach of small fingers, some are intended for young fingers to touch and play with, some have been handmade gifts from friends, others come from different parts of the world.
For this post, I thought I would take you on a "tour" of sorts of some of the handwork projects that I have around the house that reflect the nativity story. Many of them are from patterns designed by the wonderful folks at Shepherd's Bush, my favorite local needlework store. Please keep in mind that these projects have been completed over a span of nearly 25 years rather than the past few weeks.
This first series of pictures is of a Christmas sampler that I completed to be framed and ready for our first Christmas in our new home in 2010. I've included some close ups of each of the
portions of this sampler as well.
I have several projects that incorporate button figures into the cross stitch picture such as with this small framed piece and this decorative pillow.
I also have a small "nativity tree" that include a number of handmade ornaments that tell a portion of the Christmas story. You can discern some angels as well as cross stitched and quilted ornaments that feature a component of the Christmas story.
Fortunately, the Christmas story doesn't end with the nativity. The same Jesus who was born in a stable grew up, had an earthly ministry, died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, rose again, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
A few days ago, as I was driving to work, I listened to Steven Curtis Chapman's arrangement of the traditional song, "We Three Kings," from his "Joy" Christmas album from 2012. Although I have heard the song numerous times through the years, it was as though I was listening to it with a new and refreshed perspective. Although this song tells the journey of the wiremen and the gifts they bring, it also presents the gospel message in its entirety, encompassing the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I thought that I would share it here and hope that it blesses you as much as it blessed me.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace