Saturday, December 5, 2009
In Which I Tell You I Am Not a Grinch! Really, I'm Not!
I hope young Christian mothers will not call me a Grinch when I wonder (out loud) why vegetables seem more suitable in a nativity set than do Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the rest of the usual characters of that night in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.
Okay, I get it. The vegetables are supposed to be "stand-ins" for the "real" characters of the nativity. I recognize that the butternut squash is supposed to be Joseph. And I think a Lemon portrays one of the Wise Men. And it looks as if the cow is a summer squash in a cow costume. Very Creative!
Frankly, as an adult, I cannot figure out even what most of the VEGETABLES are, let along figure out how a kid can think these are PEOPLE.
I'm wondering why, after all these generations since Christ's birth, we have to dumb down a nativity set to "vegetables" in order for the little ones to "understand" the night of Christ's birth. Is it because they won't understand it if we have the figures look like real people! (They understand vegetables better? They won't even eat them!!!)
I realize my way of thinking may not be the "norm", but to my way of thinking, a vegetable with two eyes, nose and mouth does not a person make. And Folks! We're talking about Jesus here! The Son of God. God Himself come down into humanity (John 1:1-3, John 1:14) to live the righteous life we can't, to take our sins to the cross with him, to die for our sins at the cross, and then to impute to us His own righteousness so that when we stand before the Father we stand there clean because we stand there clothed in Christ's Righteousness Given to Us! Folks, if you miss that, you've missed the entire Gospel!
So we let some vegetable portray the Incarnate Christ? Am I missing something here? Somebody please speak up and explain that to me!
(It's things like this that make me see why unbelievers think Christians are a bit weird.)
Surely any little boy or girl who is even one year old recognizes the difference between "people" and "vegetables" or even, if you wish, the family dog or cat. Kids know people when they see them. And they know non-people when they see them. ( I'm not sure, though, that they can tell me which vegetable plays Mary in this Nativity set.)
My advice to parents wishing to teach their children about the living God and His Son Jesus? Teach them that the Son of God came to us as a baby in Bethlehem. He was fully God. And he was fully Man. He was not a vegetable.
I'm just sorta wondering out loud here. Isn't it strange that Protestant parents - who may be among those who mock the Catholic church for their statues of saints and of Jesus and Mary - isn't it strange that they themselves will portray Christ as a vegetable to their most impressionable young children? Isn't there some kind of incongruity there?
P.S. I am not a Grinch. I did not write this to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm just sayin'!