Second Friday of Advent: A Place at the Nativity

My eighth grade daughter’s Language Arts teacher is an interesting bird. She’s a little scatter brained, a little flighty. Last week she divided the class into pairs. She had each pair discuss time travel. If they could go back in time, to any spot in history, where would they go and why. I’m assuming it was an elaborate writing prompt of sorts.

Adelaide and her friend Taylor went back in time and boarded the Titanic. At just the right moment there they were on deck pointing out the imminent danger, “Look out! An iceberg”! Of course they saved the day, the ship and the 1,517 lives that would have otherwise been drowned. They were the heroes. It was a noble thing to do.

And then Adelaide and Taylor went back further in time. This time they showed upmanger scene, advent, nativity scene at the shed, out behind the crammed inn, where the new-born baby Jesus was nestled in the manger. They were there with the shepherds, the wise men, the mandatory camel, the cows, the sheep and of course the angel. I had this fleeting moment of mother pride, “Ah…what a sweet idea! To go to the manger, to worship, to be a part of that history-changing, grace-birthing, life-changing Holy space.”

My moment didn’t last long!

Adelaide further explained, “That way whenever a nativity set is displayed we’d be there— a little Adelaide and a little Taylor”!

My imagination laughed out loud. Here’s the tiny shepherd boy, here’s the Mother Mary and the little Joseph always looking so very serious and tired. Here’s the three stoic wise men each bearing their obligatory oddly shaped gift. There’s the sheep, the cows and that darn camel! Oh wait … and here’s the little Adelaide and the little Taylor!

When  you’re nearly fourteen, you have an amazing capacity to make almost anything all about you. The crèche might be sacred but with just a little creativity you might squeeze into that too!

The irony, I suppose is, that it is all about her. Jesus is thrilled when my Adelaide shows up at the manger. She’s one of the reasons he came. He welcomes her there; her and Taylor too. Really we are all invited! It’s for me and it’s for you. We can all show up.

So when you put out your nativity set this year, don’t be surprised if you see a couple of extra figures. Adelaide’s the one with boots on and her fingernails painted!

10 thoughts on “Second Friday of Advent: A Place at the Nativity

  1. As a teacher, I always hate those “travel back in time and pretend” writing assignments. I feel like real history involves enough of the imagination that I don’t like tempting my students towards more self-projection than they already perform on a regular basis. The point of education (from the Latin to “draw forth”) is literally to pull us out of ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My nativity was installed this morning – I’ll move everyone over to make a space for Adelaide and Taylor. Seriously, I will tell the story to the shy little girl coming to lunch on Sunday with her Mum, a single parent. I think it’s lovely to think of her also a guest at the Incarnation!!

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