Unity News

Dec 8: The Red Jello Stained Creche –Matthew 19:14

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and don’t prevent them. For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.’”
Matthew 19:14 (The Living Bible)

It was 1989, the year we had moved 500 miles from our nearest relative. With three children under the age of four and a husband that frequently traveled overnight with his job, life was tedious – to put it mildly.

Attending a Holiday Craft Show was a rare special treat. I would try to find a unique decoration – limited budget allowing. A beautifully tole painted wooden creche found its way into our home that year. The figures were thick, some close to 14 inches tall – just perfect for toddler hands to hold & carry about.

Our oldest child was a born teacher. She treated her younger brothers like her future students, even disciplining them when she deemed their behavior inappropriate. The creche presented a teaching opportunity. I can still see our daughter with her yardstick pointer and two toddlers sitting cross legged listening intently to a child’s version of the Christmas story. Grubby toddler handprints & dried red jello had to be wiped away before storing the Nativity Scene for the next season.

Our daughter now has a child of her own, anticipating his first Christmas. She has asked me for the creche. I must say, I reluctantly and gently packed it up for her (fondly remembering the toddler handprints and red jello stains) – looking forward to another version of the Christmas story.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us stay focused on the real reason for the season – opening our hearts to you with the simplicity of a child.

Cathy Schaefer

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