My friend, Jeff, called me last week and asked if I had any old ladders. I have several ladders, and I have been forbidden by doctors and family from climbing ladders, so I gladly shared one with Jeff and his wife, Lori. The above picture is the Christmas tree in their home this year. I think it's pretty good design and a wonderful idea. Lori always does a great job!
Today I was thinking about the ladder and the picture, and especially about the Christmas Village buildings. On three small shelves is a whole town......a community of believers in the magic of Christmas, joining together to share all that Christmas means for them.
I can see some houses, all decorated for the season. The message of those homes is one of sharing and agreeing on the beauty of this time of year, and a willingness to be a community celebrating the Son of God. That always makes for good relationships in their community as they join in the gift of "peace on earth, good will to men."
The ladder tree also has buildings which house businesses, all busy and active this time of year. There is shopping to be done and people's names to be checked on our lists, as this community readies itself for holiday festivities.
I also see an outside park with music and dancing and just visiting with friends and neighbors. There is one building which reminds me of a music hall where the residents of the small town can gather for singing carols. There is also a church building in this city. There we can come to pray and give our thanks to God for his gift to all. The tiny Christ child is remembered in a manger, worshiped by angels and wise men and the barnyard animals, with everyone focused on a bright star.
Perhaps your community has all these buildings and activities. Regardless of where we live, who we are, and what we have, we gain the most from the season when we come to appreciate the baby in the manger, sent to live and dwell among us and in us, and bring the message of eternal life through his ultimate death on the cross. Praise be to God for this very special gift.