No one Wants to Eat Baby Jesus!

20121207-121706.jpgWe make sugar cookies every year. It’s a sweet, messy, sticky, yummy tradition. The after effects are sugar highs, gritty floors, and creativity to make your eyes pop. Sugar cookies are our favorite.

One year we decided to make the Nativity Scene. So proud were we as we painstakingly cut out Blessed Mary, Joseph, angels, sheep, camels, a manger, and Baby Jesus. It was amazing. The whole clan, baked with butter, sugar, and flour; frosted with blue and yellow and white and green and any other shade we could create with our liquid food colors that stained the hands and the tongue.

But…it was hard to eat this cast of characters. Oh the camels and sheep were easy. The angels? Well, we had eaten angels before so we gave in and ate those with a hot cup of evening tea. Joseph? While indeed a major and noble character in the scene, it wasn’t that hard to ingest his yellow-brown robe. But Mary? She proved difficult in her bright food-color blue, green sugar bedazzled robe, the yellow halo around her head. Finally, even she was eaten. Delicious.

But no one wanted to eat Baby Jesus!

What were we thinking? Of course no one wants to eat Baby Jesus. It seemed so wrong.

As Christmas passed and the goodies in the house were slowly eaten, we still had one lone sugar cookie in the container. Baby Jesus. What were we to do with Baby Jesus?

As I think back, there is something funny, poignant, and sacred about this. What do we do when no one wants to eat Baby Jesus? Do we shellac him? Throw him away?

But now I think the best choice would have been to eat the cookie – in fact break it in pieces and pass it around, sharing. Use it as a time to talk about how Jesus meets us in the sacred and the mundane; that he draws us into worship through cookies or through the sacrament. In my mind I go back to that time and re-write the story where we sit around the kitchen table and break off pieces of Baby Jesus, sharing the cookie no one wanted to eat. A holy moment in the middle of a simple holiday tradition, the Body of Christ broken for us.

We’ve not made the Nativity Scene for a long time – instead it’s the traditional trees and bells, candy canes and stockings. But I’m tempted every year to make that nativity scene again, to decorate Baby Jesus and break him in pieces encouraging all to partake.

14 thoughts on “No one Wants to Eat Baby Jesus!

  1. Um. That Anonymous comment was from me. I forgot to type my name. And yes, it was an amazingly powerful experience. I still get goose bumps when I think about it.


  2. Several years ago my colleague built an almost life-sized creche scene during the children’s time on Advent Sunday mornings. Each week pieces and characters were added. First they set up the creche with the manger. Then they put animals in the around the manger — then Joseph and Mary were added to the scene.

    On Christmas eve as the story of Jesus’ birth was being read, someone came down the center aisle holding a doll wrapped in bands of cloth – and they laid the doll in the manger.

    When it came time for communion the pastor came down to a table at the creche scene, and as she began the words of institution, she reached into the manger, picked up the doll and unwrapped a loaf of bread!

    There was an audible gasp in the congregation. It was probably the most powerful communion service in which any of us had ever partaken.

    “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”


      1. Hillary – so glad you read. Amazing what the things I’ve been able to learn through every day world activities. I guess that’s what it’s all about.


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