Friday, December 6, 2013

What does Jesus look like at your house? White?

UPDATE At the end of this post there's a link to Nick's blog, with his perspective on the topic :-)

"Between Worlds" is a blogger I've been following recently, because she talks about deep issues. These issues matter in our broken world, because Christ-followers are yearning for God's way of living to be done on earth, to have a whole heaven cover over broken earth.

When I read the post below, it made me wonder, "What images of Jesus am I showing my kids this Christmas season? Daily? Yearly?"

Now, you may argue that we best embody Jesus. That is true. But for curious kids, they want to see pictures to go with the stories. What if the pictures they see only represent one people group?

When Even Jesus Is White

Hop over to "Between Worlds"

Some Inspiration

When you see our nativity, know that it was a gift meant to appeal to our kids. Thank goodness it is NOT Veggie Tales or Peanuts. Whew! The truth is, Nick and I have been looking for a nativity since we've been married 5.5 years ago... maybe we should stop being picky :-)

Ideally, a nativity would be abstract enough to not lead the viewer to assume a race or nationality in the figures. Rather, the simplified forms would help the viewer contemplate the role or posture of the figure. Ideally, a nativity would have all members present: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, a shepherd or two, the three wise men, animals, and an angel. So many nativities leave out a member or two that are vital to the story of Jesus' birth and why it is significant!! Ideally, a nativity would be purchased from a not-for-profit where the artists are paid living wages and given training.

We like these below... but see if you can spot who is missing:

Peruvian, 10,000 Villages


Kenyan soapstone,

Acacia wood,

What's around our house?

Only nativity at our house, includes shepherds, wise men, angel

Cards from past years, kept for the kids to handle and view -- lots of medieval and Renaissance styles
Left, this Mary is my favorite - lots of emotion! And medium skin tones
Right, this card's figures lack faces. You can guess their emotions.

These images of Jesus were on the grandparents' monthly devotionals. Definitely saved them :-)
Left, the boy Jesus teaching the temple teachers of the Law
Right, Jesus and the disciples in Emmaus

Thoughts from the other half of this marriage

Nick has republished a reflection on Mary from last year that fits into this theme. He writes here:

How about you? What nativities do you display?
Which images of Jesus are around your house? I'd love to hear about them!


  1. We display several nativities. They range from the Fisher-Price Little People one (with several expansion sets to include even more sheep and shepherds, and additional stable and animals, as well as the Little drummer boy, we have 2 angels, 3 wise men, and 3 camels), also a small ceramic one that is children dressed as the nativity characters as if they are in a pageant, also a stuffed animal set. My MIL has several mini sets that she leaves up all year long. Rather than trying to have the perfect set, I take advantage of as many opportunities for my kids to interact and retell the story. In fact, 2 nights ago Kirstin even laid down all the people in the one set to tuck them into to bed before she went to sleep.

  2. Thanks, Kristi! I like the idea of a kids' set to play with and we'll have to look into getting one, but I'm not sure how many total sets we'd want to acquire in our small living space ;-) What did you think of the "Between Worlds" post??