“He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit; Seen by the angels; preached among the Gentiles; Believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16
Most of us fill our houses with the things we like, whether functional or just pleasant to look at. In doing so we make our home a haven, a place where we feel good. When we surround ourselves with things that make us feel good we create an atmosphere that nourishes our senses, an atmosphere that reminds us of who were, who we are now, or who we wish to become in the future.
In this same way, many Catholics and Christians surround themselves with images of their faith. Some even go so far as to say that Catholics actually ‘worship’ statues, which is completely false. In reality, religious art, figurines, and symbols serve to remind us of our all important relationship with our heavenly creator and His love for us. I call them ‘earthly reminders of heavenly things’.
Saints were real people who lived and died in faithfully great service to God. They serve as role models for our lives and can even intercede for us if we call upon them in faithful prayer. For instance, an image of Jesus The Shepherd with sheep reminds us that we are all part of His flock and should seek to follow Him and His example for our lives. A statue of Mary can serve to remind us, that as His mother, she is also our spiritual mother to whom we can turn in our time of need, asking her to intercede on our behalf with her Son. A prayer card with an image of Saint Frances can help us remember to be kind to all of God’s creatures, and we can ask for His help in doing so. Each image, in its own way, causes us to reflect on what is the most important thing, our relationship with God. When we surround ourselves with these reminders we create a spiritual atmosphere that is more conducive to living life as we should.
In a similar way, a Creche or Manger scene is often the focal point of our decorations for the Christmas season. Let’s say it is ‘Christmas Central’ in our home. Through its figurines of Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus, it tells the Christmas Story of the babe in a manger who came into the World, and was the Light for all mankind. It serves as a reminder of who we were, who we are, and who we are to become! All of this in one small setting of figurines; it is our earthly reminder of the One heavenly thing most important in our lives, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we have seen His glory; The glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.” John 1:14