Plastic Jesus

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Plastic Jesus 2

The local news rag recently reported that a Norman Rockwell painting titled “Saving Grace” sold for $46 million. That’s a lot of grace. A few days later, Bob Dylan’s Fender Stratocaster (a cool electric guitar) sold for nearly $1 million—the highest price ever paid for a guitar at an auction. Elvis must be turning over in his grave, assuming Elvis is really dead.

Dogs-Playing-Poker1Spending that much money on anything is baffling to me. I like art. I love music. I suppose if I had a few extra bucks to spare I might replace a cheesy twenty-dollar print of Dogs Playing Poker for something a bit more valuable. But seriously, $46 million for a painting?! Even if I was a gazillionaire, I think I would find something much better to do with my mullah.

Speaking of stuff… Every year we pull out the variety of nativity scenes we own. Some of them have been passed down to us from our family, others have been received as gifts, and we bought a nice one in an after-Christmas sale a few years ago.

My favorite nativity, however, is a plastic one we own made by Mattel. It’s a toy made for children, and all the little characters are indestructible. It also has a cool angel who sits on top of the barn, and when you bop her in the head, the song Away in a Manger plays. Unfortunately, the Joseph piece has been lost, and Mary is now a single mom (which makes her even more valuable to me).

Of course, Jesus is a plastic baby, lying in a plastic manager, surrounded by a plastic barn, being adored by a plastic shepherd and plastic animals. But the whole thing is just so stinkin’ cute I want to play with it too. My grandchildren have giggled for hours playing with this simple toy nativity.

The other day I was sitting in my favorite chair early in the morning for a little time alone with Jesus, and I had a cup of coffee in one hand and my bible in the other.
Here’s what I read…

Philippians 2:6-7 (NLT)
6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God
 as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
 he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

I looked up from my bible at that moment to see plastic Jesus on my coffee table (precariously close to the edge), and it struck me: Jesus didn’t come to a castle or mansion; He gave up everything for you and me. He left the true riches and vast glory of heaven to become a child born to a poor blue-collar family. And He did this so we could know Him, relate to Him, and fall in love with Him.

Without a doubt, if Jesus went shopping today to buy a nativity scene to celebrate His birthday it wouldn’t be one made out of gold or silver…it’d be plastic. Something simple, humble, raw and real, just like Him.

Thanks for reading my blog today. Time for me to go bop the angel’s head again and listen to Away in a Manger one more time.


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10 Responses to Plastic Jesus

  1. Love to read what is in your head! Reminds me of the Indiana Jones movie where he is searching for the Chalice. Turns out the one they were looking for was the plain one. Unadorned, simple. Held the water of life. Hmmm…….from the verse above, that is who Jesus is. The unadorned one that holds the water of life. Thanks Kurt!!!

    • Hey, we just watched that movie (again) a few weeks ago. A classic! And yup, Jesus is into simple (kinda like having church in a former K-Mart!).

  2. My favorite nativity is a tiny set of hand painted clay figures from the 1950’s – the figures are time-worn, nicked and faded, but recognizable. A little wooden barn was glued and pinned together by my brother when he was a young kid from wood scraps from an apple box, bark chunks and twigs. Real hay still lines the floor. My parents put it out for over 50 years; I’m carrying on now. It’s perfect.

  3. The irony that Joseph is missing… or did you plan that one pastor? 🙂 Yet how true it is that Jesus was so simplistic in his approaches to even his miracles that many of his day missed him.

    Give me a plastic Jesus in a nativity scene any day over the commercialized one we can hardly imagine.

    I’m so glad that he thought so much of me that he would become like me so that I could become like him. Thanks Kurt.

    • Hi Keith, No…Joe’s absence still a mystery! Appreciate your thoughts and input. Hope you and yours have a Jesus-filled Christmas!

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