Each year around this time we lovingly unwrap the nativity set that my mother made for our family a decade ago. Each fired piece of clay is simply painted with a brown stain that highlights the details of each figure without defining their actual appearance.

This glimpse without a clear outline adds to my delight in pondering as we unwrap the gift that is the nativity.

As the shepherds are unwrapped, I contemplate their rapid heartbeats as an angel appeared to them. Lowly shepherds, out in a field visited by a heavenly host. I imagine they dropped to their knees in their simplicity, humbled to the core that they were being chosen to draw near to the Holy of Holies.

Then the wise men are gently freed from their protective bubble wrap, and I smile at the reality that those so wise were not so full of their own importance that they missed the truth of who they were to travel “afar” to see. Interestingly, they presented gifts to the greatest gift of all.

The angel is easily found because broad wings are easily discernible even when they are wrapped protectively tight. At times, in my life, I have sensed broad wings wrapped protectively tight around me and I ponder the imagery.

Joseph and Mary are unwrapped, and as I contemplate all that had transpired for them as they made their way to shelter, resting alongside animals, surrounded by hay, I marvel at their ability to trust and obey with faith. Ignoring appearances.

Finally, the baby Jesus is revealed. That simple statement the cry of my heart – that He be revealed to all so that none should perish.

No doubt you, too, have a nativity you will be unwrapping this year.

Have you unwrapped Jesus to reveal Him to all those who enter your home?

Consider the truth that Jesus is wrapped up in each of us and we have a choice daily to keep Him hidden or reveal Him through word and deed.

Imagine that … we are a living nativity.