by Artist Eye
This past weekend many guests who came to the services of Lessons and Carols paused to have their pictures taken with the life size crèche figures of shepherds and sheep who appeared last week on our front lawn. The word “crèche” comes from the Latin word for crib. Christians all over the world have a long history of depicting the scene of Christ’s birth. There is a record as early as the 7th century of the honoring of Christ’s cradle at the church of St Mary Major in Rome. The biographer of St Francis of Assisi reports that in 1223 the saint set up a manger filled with hay, complete with a live ox and ass, as the setting for the celebration of Christmas for the people of a little town called Greccio. His purpose? “to excite the inhabitants of Greccio to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus with great devotion…” Gazing into our shepherd’s eyes, I have a model of excitement and devotion; a ready remedy for any complacency I haul around.