This week I have had the joy of sharing Prep children’s interest and excitement as they have visited our wonderful crib, set up in the chapel.
As we have retold the bible narratives of the birth of Jesus I have been particularly interested in asking the children not just what they could see in the crib but – particularly with the older pupils – asking some ‘why’ questions.
Why was it shepherds who were chosen by God to be the first people to visit Jesus? Why did wise men, or kings, kneel down before the baby Jesus? It has been great to have been exploring the significance of shepherds, and wise men, visiting Jesus.
The shepherds, the first to visit Jesus, were poor, dirty, smelly, and disliked by others. They were friendless and they were vulnerable. The wise men, or kings, the only other people the Gospels tell us visited the baby Jesus, were wealthy and powerful rulers. Other people looked up to them. Other people knelt before them.
There could not be a bigger contrast than between shepherds and wise men.
By making shepherds and wise men the first people to visit Jesus, God showed that Jesus was born for all; a friend to the poor and to the friend-less, and at the same time the King of kings.
One of the pupils explained, ‘God showed that he has no favourites’.
There is so much that we can learn from sitting in front of a crib, particularly when we ask ourselves ‘why?’, as well as ‘what?’.