One day a few months ago I was praying about what house God wanted us to buy in AL and what His vision was for our new home and life. He put in my heart an idea about setting up a communion table that has continual supply of crackers and juice and an inspirational painting hanging above inviting us to commune with God so that at any time on any day any one at my house could stop and have a quite moment with alone with God.
Later that week I got a devotion by Charles Spurgeon in my e-mail that asked “Is there a Church in this house?” It went on to say, “More is expected of a Church than of an ordinary household; family worship is a must, in such a case, be more devout and hearty; internal love must be more warm and unbroken and external conduct must be more sanctified and Christlike… As a Church let us now draw nigh to the great head of the one Church universal, and let us beseech Him to give us grace to shine before men to the glory of His name.” I thought it was so inspirational to think of your home in that way. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what being temples of the Holy Spirit of God means and I think that your home is a perfect place to express who you are – or want to be. Early in my career as a home maker, before I even had a desire to for my home to reflect God’s love, I had visitors giving me encouraging words that it did. Now I want to do it on purpose.
About the time all these thoughts were going though my head I had a dream or a vision or something and heard God tell me that I was going to buy a nativity set. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard God tell me. I thought, “OK?” The Christmas decorations in the stores weren’t out yet. So, I kept praying about it.
Then a few weeks ago when the stores put out their Christmas stuff I took a day of shopping and visited several to see their nativity sets. I found a couple that I liked but not the one that said, “This is the one.” So, I kept praying.
One day I had some extra time for the computer and decided to do some online shopping for nativity sets. I looked at some Christian book stores, I looked on e-bay, then finally I felt real strongly that I should look at Craig’s list. I almost never look on Craig’s list for anything. When I say I felt strongly that I should look on Craigs list I mean that I thought God was about to yell it in my ear so I looked. I did a search for nativities in the Tampa area and a large Fontanini set came up. I couldn’t believe it.
My MIL had given us a beginner set 19 years ago when we went to Thailand as missionaries. That Christmas in Thailand our oldest (8 months) threw away baby Jesus. He loved throwing things away. By the time I realized it was missing it was too late… so the next year I just took a cotton ball and rapped piece of muslin around it for a baby Jesus and used it for years.
One year a friend of mine in IL bought me a new baby Jesus – I didn’t know you could do that. Then I saw her collection. It was huge, beautiful, a whole village that she placed in niches around her living room with green garland and white Christmas lights. Ever since then I’ve always wanted to collect them but they are expensive and I have had to use many a Christmas check for groceries instead.
So here on Craig’s list was my chance. I knew that was the set God had been talking about. I prayed. The seller said he would take any offer seriously. I called Mike in AL and asked if I could offer $200. I about fainted when he said yes. When I e-mailed the seller my offer he said he couldn’t possibly take less than $500. It was worth $900 so I understood but there was no way I could spend that much.
I prayed some more – I felt like I could go up to $275 and kept watching Craig’s list. Each week he posted a new lower price. I thought for sure someone else would snatch it up. They go for retail prices and up on e-bay. After a few weeks, the seller contacted me and said that he was lowering his price to $275 and asked me if I was interested.
Ta da.. Here it is. Sorry the picture isn’t that great.
I am not sure why God wanted me to buy it –
it seems silly spending so much money on little plastic figures – but it’s beauty draws me to Jesus and maybe it will help my home feel more like the temple God is designing it to be and draw people to commune with Him. And I think I know the perfect place for it in my new home.