Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weekending Part I

While at a play group yesterday, The Little and I found out that one of our friends was going to be taking part in her church's live nativity. Not sure what to expect, we told her we would be showing up after dinner to check it out.

I've debated how much of my faith I want to share online for you to read Internet. How much is pertinent to this blog - this documented history of my parenting and mothering successes and failures. And in the end, because faith does have a role in who I am and how I choose to raise my son I guess it's important to share at least a little bit.

My mother was a United Methodist minister. Faith and church growing up were integral to my development. But it was an interesting intersection for me. We were not raised to be Bible literalists. Indeed, my mother was fascinated by the search for the historical Jesus and attended conferences by the
Jesus Seminar. Learning about the Bible in a non-literal tradition sometimes placed me at odds theologically - left me feeling isolated at times if you will with my friends, many of whom did read and interpret the Bible literally.

As I've grown into my understanding of the Bible and it's place in my life I've also come to have great respect for other religions of the world. I've found, that while I still identify as Christian, I am drawn more and more to my connection with the earth, the seasons, the natural rhythms of life. And I'm learning how to connect the two - which I don't believe to be mutually exclusive of each other to create a more meaningful spirituality for myself.

Phew! Are you still with me? Or have I scared you off dear readers? Because I have a point, I promise.

It was with a bit of trepidation that I attended the live nativity last night because I know that my dear friend and I have very different understandings of the Bible and Christianity.

But I was pleasantly surprised. What was portrayed during this live nativity was more than I could have imagined. Historical details were not skimmed over. there was a replica of a Jewish Synagogue, there were rug weavers, basket weavers, potters, live animals, the inn, the stable, a family home where children and their mother were making bread. It was quite simply, beautifully done. I was able to snag a few pictures while we were there. And of course, wouldn't you know it - I forgot to take photos of the key players in the Christmas story, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Oops.

The Little had a wonderful time exploring this gorgeous recreated Bethlehem. My husband and I followed him around while he made a beeline to the animal stables. We held his hand as he watched the children sing traditional Christmas hymns. We grinned as he gently handled the beautiful baskets and weavings that were being created for all to see. And we choked back laughter as he crouched down to peer between the camel's legs when the giant animal decided to relieve herself.

We walked into the inn, which of course held no room and we were redirected back over to the stables. The Little's eyes lit up as he realized we would be visiting his beloved donkey and baby goats again.

It was a magical, meaningful evening. As we left I realized that I am convinced that I will be able to raise our son with an understanding of God and the Bible and still respect others' beliefs - no matter how similar or different they might be from our own. To embrace and focus more on our commonalities than our differences. For that I am thankful.

Yours in harmony, understanding and acceptance,

Simple Mama


  1. Hello

    I enjoy reading about how other people bring their spirituality into their daily life, as long as I dont feel that I am being preached at or converted!

    I like to see how I have things in common with people and how our beliefs, while different, make us have ideas we share.

    My religion is different to yours, but I still read your blog!


  2. what a really great experience. i love that the crafts were included. sounds like you stumbled upon a wealth of knowledge...both internally and externally. life is more and more beautiful as it unfolds.

    peace dear friend,

  3. Hi Jen,

    What you stated was what I was trying to convey in my post. :) You said it better than I. I think that people often focus too much on their differences rather than on their commonalities - on the things that connect us all. And it's in that spirit that I hope to raise my son.

  4. we have a similar living nativity here in town. it really is special to get a feel for it. And should you ever come visit me you'd fit right in at my Methodist Church!

  5. Thanks for your honesty, and for sharing this part of your wekkend with us! That living nativity looks very interesting.

  6. That looks like a wonderful experience. I'm ever searching for, what felt to me like, the missing component of my Christianity. Strangely enough, I feel like I've found that in a Waldorf-inspired life, especially where my parenting is concerned. I don't find them to be mutually exclusive either, but I frequently find myself at odds with the other Christians around me. This is what is best for myself, my family and our spiritual journey, and I feel blessed to be on this path.

  7. What a beautiful evening and it is wonderful that your little one will be raised with such warmth, understanding and respect of others faiths. I love your honesty and feel honored that you shared it :)

  8. Sounds like a beautiful experience! I think the most important thing in the world is to be able to raise our kids with faith, respect for others, and respect for the earth we live on - no matter what "label" of religion we put on it :O)

  9. Hey! Where is the live nativity you went to? I might enjoy checking it out.

  10.'s up in Vancouver, but the name of the church is escaping me right now. I'll ask my friend and get back to you. :)