Creatives at the Manger: Mary, the Little Drummer, and You

Originally published Monday, 22 December 2014.

I don’t consider myself to be a creative person.

Honestly, designing a gingerbread house is more a recipe for disaster than it is a relaxing way to spend the evening.

But about a month ago, my husband and I hung this word on the wall above our computer:*

And slowly, steadily, that one little word has whispered truth over this altar where we bring our words and art and place them before the Lord.


It has become our act of worship.

Created by a Creator

In the beginning, God created everything from nothing. And then He spent a week fashioning the wisteria, the chipmunks, the Milky Way, the redwoods, and the humming birds out of the material world He had just created.

He created and He fashioned.

And then He made humans–in His own likeness, with His own imprint, with the unique ability to commune with Him and to fashion like Him.

No other creatures in this world can do this, you know.

We bear the creative expression of God in our own souls as we take in the world around us and create. We create not out of nothing but out of the abundance of everything that God gives us. Out of wood and grain and words and notes and actions.

We create the Golden Gate Bridge and the Sixth Symphony, the David statue and the blueberry streusel muffins, The Lord of the Rings and the smartphones in our pockets.

We create welcoming homes and open lines of communication, safe places to bare our souls and knitted mittens to face the cold.

We create memories of tickle fights and bath time giggles, candle-lit dinners and football cheering.

When we look around, we can create art in a million little ways with the abundance God has given us as an act of worship back to Him. But when we lack forethought, we allow golden opportunities to pass by us unarrested. Memories uncreated. Words of encouragement unspoken. Relationships unforged.

Created for Good Works (Even at Christmas)

Did you know the cast of characters at the manger was creative?

Don’t picture an art painting or a fancy holly wreath.

Picture this:

Joseph, compelled by circumstances, fashioned a makeshift shelter for Mary and Jesus out of a dank cave and a dingy manger.

Mary cared for Jesus with no pacifier, receiving blankets or teddy bear but only her tender words, her soft touch, and her lullaby.

The shepherds returned from the scene of the manger with shouts of joy and songs of praise.

The wise men carefully picked gifts  from among their treasures that held deep symbolical meaning for this little child.

Simeon and Anna celebrated the birth of the Messiah with creative verse and song in the temple.

God prepared each of the characters in the Christmas story to use what they had to worship Jesus. They were creative in their worship.

Paul writes that we are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Joseph and Mary and Simeon and the rest? God allowed them to participate in the entrance of His Son into the world by using what they had to welcome Him.

That’s how they worshiped Him. By being creative with what they had.

You ARE a Creative

Maybe you, like me, feel overwhelmed by all the creative people who put Martha Stewart to shame with their gorgeous wreaths, handmade crafts, home-baked goods, and all-around-awe-inspiring-creative-goodness.

But let’s move beyond the traditional understanding of “creative” into the realm of “creating” that God is calling us to.

This holiday season, create with what you have as an act of worship to the King:

With the ingredients for dinner, create not just a meal but a place for your family to share their stories, joys, and hurts from today.

With a swift step and a bear hug, create a deeper connection between you and your loved one.

With the extra change in your pocket, create a happy morning for the person pulling up behind you at the coffee place.

With the minutes in each day, create little pockets of time to meet with and celebrate Jesus.

With the glide of your pen, create postcards of encouragement that lift souls and restore cheer.

Whatever you do today, createBecause it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful to God. Joseph used what he found and served his Master in the manger.

Whatever your works looks like, create. Because you can easily let day after day pass by, hardly touching the materials that surround you for fear of being wrong. But even singing off-tune, the shepherds cheerfully praised God.

Whatever others say of your work, create. Because ultimately, it’s not the Herod’s of this world that we try to impress with our gifts; we open the treasuries of our hearts and create for the King of Kings.

Like the little drummer boy, bring what you have to the manger and worship Jesus.

Then He smiled at me pa-rum pum pum pum/
Me and my drum


The new Words Matter Letterpress Blocks from (in)courage are the perfect reminder of that one special word God has put on your heart for the year! They also make a great Christmas gift because they’re completely customizable. *Thanks to the Dayspring team for sending us this beautiful gift of letters. Affiliate links used in this post.

Photo credit

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