I stopped in to pick up a gift box for wrapping one of my Christmas gifts. While waiting in the Dollar Store check out line the manger scene caught my eye. It’s not that I never noticed a cheap nativity scene before, but I never really thought about it deeply.
My first thought was, “How terrible; what have we come too cheapening the real meaning of Christmas to a dollar piece of junk?” Feeling a bit righteous about my position as well thought and spiritual I moved up closer to the check out and set my item on the belt. Then, an unexpected thought came to find.
Maybe Jesus would have come to a Dollar Store just like he was born in a stable. After all, he didn’t come to the royal palace and amongst the rich and famous. Jesus came to simple, common people who were faithful to God. He was born in a stable, announced to poor shepherds, celebrated by people who just caught a glimpse of what he was all about.
Maybe a Dollar Store nativity is a better symbol than an ivory or gold plated one. Maybe it would remind us that Joy to the World comes in the midst of common people trying to live, to make ends meet, to find meaning amidst the pressures and struggles of life; perhaps “good news” would seem more like good news if we embraced a dollar store nativity.