A nativity scene for 2020

A nativity scene for 2020
December 20
10:00 2020

The justice team of Parkway United Church of Christ envisioned and created a somewhat different Christmas nativity in front of its church building this year. The group reflected on the statement in the birth story of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel of Luke “(she) laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.”  The sign above the scene asks “Is there room for all?”

Mother Mary in the constructed scene is kneeling, stretching, reaching through a barrier of books toward a baby in a creche. The baby is enveloped in a reflective Mylar blanket. “A primitive fence continues along the sides of the roughly constructed barn, the pickets as spines of books which can inspire us to ready our hearts and minds to love all people as Christ loves us,” says Tammy Willard, who coordinated the artistic vision of the project.  

The scene is perched on an embankment in front of Parkway’s church building adjacent to Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem.  

“The room we seek for our neighbors and ourselves is varied because the barriers are many. It’s not just a border fence and those over 500 children still separated from their parents at the border. It’s the high rates of incarceration, pandemic isolation, those without adequate shelter due to eviction and foreclosure. We need room for sufficient medical care and the breaking down of barriers for people to live, love, and express who they are fully. We think of barriers for those with disabilities and those facing mental health challenges. We think of room for an imagination of how we live within our ecosystems without bending them toward destruction,” says the Rev. Craig Schaub, pastor of the church. 

“Most deeply, though, there is a plaintive cry to the theme,” Schaub continues. “Will we make room for all our feelings, all dimensions of ourselves? Incarnate holiness is birthing each moment in us to clear room for us to know the divine spark within us, in others, and between us all.” 

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