Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n01)
Life's Ripples from Broad Ripple United Methodist Church by Rev. Timothy Rasmussen
posted: Jan. 08, 2010
In the first weeks of December we at Broad Ripple had our 2nd annual live nativity. It being only our second year, we recognize that it will continue to change in various ways as we get more experienced at doing it. I certainly realize that we portray the nativity in a way that is not historically correct. The very fact that we have wisemen and shepherds standing at the stable at the same time is incorrect, the wisemen may have come as much as two years after Christ's birth. We have also had dogs present at the manger scene.
Everything known of the birth of Jesus is based on the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Those two writers of the Gospel were more concerned about fulfillment rather than specifics which leaves a lot to our imaginations. In that light, there could very well have been dogs, as well as donkeys, cattle, sheep, and other stable animals.
We know that Bethlehem would have been crowded at the time of Jesus birth because of everyone coming to be counted in the census. It being a small town with little entertainment, a birth in a stable was bound to attract some onlookers.
The point is that it doesn't matter so much how it happened, but that it did happen. The details are insignificant when compared to why God chose to break into this world. The bottom line is that we need a Savior, and God gave us that gift wrapped in a baby boy named Jesus. The question for the New Year then would be what does that mean for your life. Is it just a story that is used as part of the Christmas celebrations, or does that baby Jesus cause stirrings in your heart for change? Happy New Year!
Tim has been a United Methodist Pastor since 1973 and has been at Broad Ripple United Methodist since 2003. Email your questions/comments to tim@BroadRippleGazette.com