For many year, Central Catholic would celebrate Christmas, in part, by displaying a large nativity scene on the roof of the school. Student council members would come in early on a Saturday morning to set up the figures, using the cross as a backdrop and a place to position the angel. The nativity scene was a hallmark of the Christmas season for the CC community.
Nativity scenes have been a tradition since 1223 when St. Francis of Assisi staged the first one as a way to remind people how greatly God humbled himself by coming to us as a poor infant. The inclusion of an ox and an ass in nativity scenes further highlights this humbleness of God – that Jesus was born among animals rather than in a palace. This reminder encourages us to evaluate our lives and reflect on how we celebrate Christmas.
The nativity scene was also a way for CC to share our faith with the community at large. It was also a good reminder that God sent his only Son to save us.
Today, nativity scenes still offer an opportunity for us to reflect upon God and his sacrifice and to praise and worship him.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor 9:15)