Where should we place the crib? In some places the amount of alternative room is limited. Because Nativity stories involve angelic commands and praising God, it is reasonable for announcing of good news to be the great focus. In St. Ternan’s, Banchory the connection with announcing the Word of God has therefore been emphasized. We can hope the preaching had heavenly effects of illuminating hearts and minds!
Liturgists prefer not to put a crib in front of the Eucharistic table and likewise, not in front of the preacher’s ambo. A Nativity scene works best when it is used for a separate pattern of meditation, with its own celebration ritual, for instance, to foster grateful, intimate appreciation of God’s love, in the midst of all humanity. The Eucharist involves prayer specifically concerned with the character of lives in the Body of Christ, the interrelatedness of Christian community members. Faith combines with imagination differently when, at the visit of the Magi, for instance, we consider God’s love for all cultures, forms of religious celebration and all the world’s nationalities.
Bonaventure imagines the three Magi speaking boldly, on behalf of all humanity, to the merciless Herod: “Now, Herod, give us the answer, tell us where the Beloved is to be found, show us the little Child we are yearning to see. He is the one we seek and long for.” Bonaventure says we all have these searchers inside us, who must adore the Child as “the most wise teacher,” who has prepared joys for us.