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For many years, I have collected simple, inexpensive Nativity scenes. As I recall, this one came from a fair trade store. The price I remember is $3.95. It is from Bangladesh. When closed, it looks like a book that snaps shut. It opens only to about 75 degrees, revealing layers of figures cut from paper-thin plant fibers. I am grateful for these reminders of Jesus’ birth and for the knowledge that people, made in the image of God, have used their creativity to make them.

When Gabriel came to see Mary over 2,000 years ago, he told her that she would give birth to the Son of God. He told her that her elderly relative Elizabeth was expecting. Gabriel told Mary some other amazing things, too. He said:

The Lord is with you.

Do not be afraid.

Nothing will be impossible with God.

As you celebrate Christmas and hold on to the precious Baby whom God sent to be the Savior of you and your family, remember to hold on to these promises and assurances that He gave to Mary, because He offers them to you, too.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope
without wavering,
for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

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