Advent 4 – Nativity and Carol Services
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A (not exhaustive) list based on the nativity for to us reflect on:
- 1st “nativity scene” was reputedly by St Francis of Assisi in 1223. Inspired by a visit to the Holy Land he created a “living nativity” with real actors and real animals.
- The word “nativity” comes from the Latin “nativus”which means “born”.
- Mary and Joseph were married (Jewish culture has betrothal/engagement as married, just not consummated).
- Bethlehem is where Rachel was buried and also known as the city of David as it was where King David was born.
- The manger was likely a feed box or similar.
- 25th Dec is when we celebrate, but the date is more likely to have been between Sept-Oct.
- The Angel of the Lord spoke to shepherds first.
- The Bible never mentions an Inn keeper.
- Although shepherds are mentioned. No animals are.
- The wise men missed the birth! It is generally accepted the house the wise men went to, had Jesus around 2 years of age.
- Scripture lists 3 gifts but not the number of wise men. o These gifts were prophetic:
- Gold is a symbol of Christ’s kingship on earth and represents royalty.
- Frankincense is a symbol of Christ’s deity (it was used in the temple to express gratitude)
- Myrrh is a symbol of death (traditionally used as embalming oil and later used on Jesus after taking him off the cross).
- John and Jesus were cousins.
- Dreams played a key role in the protection of Jesus. Some of the MANY things the nativity story shows us of God:
Humility (Cradle not Palace).
Anything is possible with God!
God often works in what we might regard as strange ways.
God’s way is always the best way.
Biblical prophecies are always fulfilled.
God makes it simple for all to come to Him.
Christ's birth changed the world.
God's plans don't always lead to easy journeys.