The crib, the creed and the crab
“Steve, can you please put that sheep closer to the manger?” Steve’s father pointed out from the other end of the table.
“Here…?” Steve gently moved the figure towards the manger.
“Right, I guess that’ll be okay, at least the figures are more naturally spread out.”
“Dad, why do we use the same statues every year?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like…can we add other people and animals?”
“Well, I guess we could, but the manger helps us remember how Jesus was born to save us because He loved us.”
“Wouldn’t it make Jesus happy if we put lots of statues?”
“Of course it would! But do you think your Transformers and Spiderman figures would go well with this setting?”
Steve pondered at the scene intensely. “…then maybe we could just hang my Transformers and Spiderman from the ceiling?”
“We have the angels for that already, son,” his dad couldn’t help being amused.
“…what about some of my Lego toys, dad?”
“Maybe…,” his dad scratched his stubble-ridden chin while he straightened one of the titled figures.
“…but maybe mom won’t like them in the manger,” his son rectified.
“I agree,” his father said. “’Sides, Jesus wants us not only to remember the ‘first Christmas’ but He also desires us to learn our Creed through it?”
“What’s creed, daddy?”
“It what we believe in or the gift God gave to save us?”
“A gift?” the boy’s eyes lighted up with interest.
“Creed is like ‘what we have to know and trustingly accept’ so that we can live the way God wants us to do, go to Heaven and that way we make Him truly happy.”
“…’xample?” his son demanded.
“It tells us about how God is a Father who loves us by sending Jesus to save us.”
“…okay…and?” Steve said.
“…then there’s mama Mary who said ‘yes’ to God and became Jesus’ mother.”
“What about the Spirit?”
“You mean the Holy Spirit?” his dad said. “Well, mama Mary became God’s mother through the Holy Spirit’s power and love.”
“What did Joseph feel?”
“I guess it wasn’t easy at first for him to understand. But later an angel urged him to take care of Mary.”
“Angels are awesome!” Steve cheered.
“The manger also teaches us about how they were created by God to serve Him and mankind. They told the shepherds about the birth of Christ.”
“Who told the Three Kings, daddy?”
“All we know is that ‘they saw a star’ and it led them to Jesus. But it also tells us how even non-living things can lead us back to God who created all of them.”
“What’s more super is that God became like us so that we could become like Him. And He started off like us, by being a small baby boy, like you were once,” he hugged Steve warmly.
“What about the donkey and the ox?”
“Well, I’m not too sure about the ox, but the donkey was a common animal to have. It was like the family car.”
“So Jesus liked animals?”
“I guess so. Our creed is so compressed inside the manger and Jesus is going to make everything ‘new’ again. It’s like creation ‘in reverse’, by going back to Jesus and being offered back to God.”
“…in reverse?” Steve couldn’t follow his dad.
“I’m sorry, I was just reflecting and learning more things about the manger because of your questions, Steve.”
“What’s compressed daddy?”
“Oh, it’s like Creepy your stuffed-toy hermit crab.”
“Yes, like he’s squeezed inside his shell, and maybe one day he’ll come out and become a real beautiful butterfly-crab.”
“Of course not, I was just kidding.”
“But wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
“Yup, but it’s more wonderful to squeeze ourselves into the manger where we can really believe in Jesus and love him. This way, we become more than ‘butterflies’.”
“What do we become, daddy?”
“Like the shepherds, the Three Kings, and Joseph and Mary, we become holy, we can become saints.”
* * *
“Honey?” Grace entered the master’s bedroom with a concerned look on her face.
“Yes dear, need anything?” Henry asked.
“What’s Creepy doing crammed inside the manger?”
First for him to understand. But later an angel urged him to take care of Mary.”
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