This is why I found myself alone putting away our Nativity set that spans the length of our credenza. Each little piece must be wrapped to avoid breaking, and each large piece has its own styrofoam sarcophagus-type enclosure so it's much like putting together a puzzle.
The kids set it up and did a lovely job. But since they set it up, I really didn't get a chance to reflect on the cast of characters and what that scene must really have been like. I did have solitude in the packing up, though, so I was free to speculate on the thoughts and feelings of those involved.
One thing came to mind that is not speculation. The last human figure I was placing in the box was that of Sweet Baby Jesus Himself and I thought of how He was going to rest in that manger for the next 11 months.
So different from the real Sweet Baby Jesus who came for one purpose.
Peter preached it best:
Acts 2.22-24 Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
And the people responded:
Acts 2.36-38 Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.