He was like God in every way, but he did not think that his being equal with God was something to use for his own benefit. Instead, he gave up everything, even his place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form. Philippians 2:6-7 (ERV)
We decorated our house for Christmas very early this year. We were going to be out of town over Thanksgiving, and I wanted to come home to a freshly decorated Christmas house. I have never decorated before Thanksgiving in the 27 years I've been married. As in NEVER. We have always been die-hard "it must be December" decorators. However, because we are adjusting to beautiful new family norms for holidays since my oldest married last year, I thought, hey, why not? So, two full days before Thanksgiving, I decorated the house.
Each year, I've done less and less. I'm unsure if it's because my boys are older or I'm desiring simplicity in what proves to be a hectic time. Either way, this year was no different. When all the decorating boxes came out of the attic, I knew right away that I wouldn't use them all.
I opened each one, unpacked specific favorites, and then surveyed the rest. Yes - this was going to be a very simple Christmas.
White lights have replaced colored lights.
Decorations are sparse yet purposeful.
Over the years, I've collected several nativity scenes. Some carved very intricately, some child-like for the boys, some large, some very small. This morning, over coffee, I started looking around at the few I chose to display throughout the house. I noticed a pattern I had never seen before. Very unconsciously, I realized I had been collecting faceless nativities. As in, I have 6 of them.
While Jesus was absolutely and fully God and the most mind-blowingly complex human that ever lived and certainly deserves to be depicted with the most attention to detail and displayed with the grandest of decor, I'm also aware that there was nothing fancy about his birth. He was born into filth...maybe just so that I would know he wouldn't be repulsed by mine.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with grand Christmas decor if that's your thing, but personally, I'm more drawn to a plain holiday style since my home decor tends to lend itself in that direction anyway. However, the more I thought about it, the more I think my affinity for plain nativity figures might be deeper than a decorating decision.
I'm drawn to a faceless Jesus. Faceless, but not impersonal. There's never been One more personal. I'm drawn to a Jesus who came to be normal so I could relate to him. He was a "nobody" in a time when they were looking for "somebody." His parents weren't celebrities. He didn't have fancy things—just a simple baby born to a normal family.
Me too, Jesus. Me too.
Seeing these faceless nativities gives me hope. Relatable hope.
In this complex world, a simple Jesus is all we need.
✨ How We Wait Today:
Take a moment. Stop. (Seriously - take 7 seconds and take a big deep breath). Breathe in his simple presence. He is with you. Near you. He understands what you're going through as well as the joy you have in your heart. Watch for him today—but remember—while he can be found in the grand, more than likely he will be found in the very simple moments. He is the Wonder waiting to be found.
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