Zechariah’s Song: Something So Simple …  |  By Lauren Parrish
Week 3, Day 19  |  December 17

Recently, while trying to organize some boxes in storage, I became increasingly overwhelmed by the number of boxes labeled “Christmas.”

Looking at them three deep on the shelf, I knew there were more over the garage doors and still more under the house. I have been led to believe everything in these boxes is absolutely necessary for the perfect Christmas. I know this because Pinterest and Facebook have told me so.

Then, as I shift things around trying to fit in yet more decorations, I find it—a small brown box, its corners dented in and covered in yellowing tape. My head was suddenly filled with vivid memories of Christmases when I was a child. Before I was born, my mom was an activities director at a nursing home. One of the Christmas holiday craft projects was making ceramic nativity sets. At the end of that Christmas season, one set was left unfinished. Using the last drops of clear glaze, she painted and fired the tiny figurines. They came out of the kiln, perfect in their simplicity. She proudly displayed them in our home until they were gifted to me. I have used them every Christmas since.

Now, there is nothing fancy about this set; no bright colors, no gold details. One donkey has long ago lost an ear and the tip of the angel’s wing has broken off. These flaws do not effect the beauty of this set though. The beauty to me is what these figurines represent. To me, they represent everything that Jesus is; His perfect life, His simple message of love and faith—a message that has the power to change lives forever.

This plain nativity set, stored amidst the clutter of tinsel, shiny lights, glass ornaments and plastic wreaths, is my home’s most important and beloved decoration, reminding all of us each Christmas what the celebration is really all about.

PRAYER: Dear God, May we keep this Christmas a simple time; a time to see Jesus as your truly simple, uncomplicated, and perfect gift of grace. Amen.

Lauren Parrish moved to the Greensboro area two years ago with her husband Bryan and 6 year-old daughter Katie. They love spending time at the beach and lake with their dog Charlie.