The Nativity Story (originally written in Dec. 07; read it today, we’ll discuss it tomorrow!)

3 Apr

My dad recently bought Abigail a copy of The Nativity Story (remember last year, live action movie, very popular…) and said “Now you’ll want to watch this with her, there’ll be some explanation needed.”   

So last night, she and I sit down to watch the movie.  I’m wrapping presents, she’s working on an art project, and we dive in.   

No sooner does the opening music start that she needs popcorn.  So I let it play (how much can happen in the first five minutes?) and run downstairs.  I come back, exactly 2 minutes later, to find her under a pillow, with Herod’s soldiers grabbing baby boys in the middle of the night.  Terrifying!  I explained that Herod was very afraid of Jesus, so he “got rid” of all the baby boys.  “He KILLED them???”  Um, yeah.  Great opening! 

We roll along for awhile, and I’m able to keep her engaged in the story despite the actual script and accents, which she was having a hard time understanding.  The angel comes; Abigail loves that.  Mary goes to visit her cousin and now Mary has a baby in her tummy.  Here comes trouble. 

“How did she get the baby?” 

“God put it there”


Crisis averted.  For now.  I know what’s coming.  This movie makes a big deal of the whole Mary and Joseph hadn’t consummated the relationship thing.  (Don’t get me wrong, it was totally appropriate, just scaring me to death as I’m watching with my almost 9 year old who isn’t stupid.) 

Oh look, now it’s time for Elizabeth to have her baby.  What?  They’re going to show the ancient birthing process?  Dear me, well, “they didn’t have hospitals, and it hurts a lot to have a baby.”  “Where does the baby come out?”  Oh good, I was hoping for that one.

“From the mommy.”  Fingers crossed………

“No mom, where on the mommy does the baby come out?”

“There’s a special place…”  Still crossing my fingers…….

“MOM!  Where is it???”

Since I’m writing this for mixed company, I’ll just tell you that being the nurse that I am, I decided that Abigail could handle the truth on this one.  So I gave her a very brief explanation, and she was satisfied.  Whew.   

Little bit later, Mary goes home, as promised.  Joseph is very angry at her, and has a dream that he is a part of her stoning. 

“Why is Joseph mad?”

“Well, usually girls don’t have a baby in their tummy unless they’re married, and Joseph knows that they’re not married yet.”

“How does the baby get there if they are married?”  Dear God, please help me.

“Well, when two people get married and live together, God gives them a baby.”

“That’s how they did it back then?”

“Uh huh.”

“Is it the same rules now?  Do people still have to be married before they can have a baby?”

“Well, it’s changed a little.  Want some popcorn?  How about candy?  Anything at all?” 

Note that I use the word “well” at the beginning of every reply.  That’s to give me time to pray feverishly and formulate a response before taking the plunge into any subjects that I’m not ready to get to yet.  And she’s barely 9; I’m NOT ready to go there!!! 

After that I relaxed, it couldn’t get worse, and it almost didn’t.  When they enter Bethlehem, they show priests making the sacrifice of a cow.  And I mean, she knew they killed the cow.  There were tears.  “How could they kill that cow?  I would NEVER kill an animal.”  This led us into a pretty good discussion of Old Testament versus New Testament sacrifice, which was mostly over her head but gave me some reassurance that the whole movie wasn’t just an exercise in Mother Torture.  I also declined to tell her that our neighbor just got back with a couple of deer…gotta love the hill country!! 

So Mary and Joseph found a barn, had the baby, the shepherds and kings came, it was all good.  The only other question she asked was “Is it true that Jesus never cried?”  To which I smiled and thought, I’ve got this one.  “No sweetie, the bible says Jesus wept.” Wink. 

But as a mom, I sort of wept too.  She turns 9 tomorrow, and her childhood is quickly slipping away.  Soon I won’t be able to avoid those questions with my extremely vague answers.  But for now, we’re hoping for one more Christmas believing in Santa Claus.   In her letter she asked him for a free sleigh ride.  We’re not quite sure how we’re going to pull that one off.  Maybe the same way I pulled off The Nativity Story…more popcorn?


One Response to “The Nativity Story (originally written in Dec. 07; read it today, we’ll discuss it tomorrow!)”

  1. Kelly @ Love Well April 4, 2008 at 1:26 am #

    My oldest is only 6, but I’ve often thought that I wish I could wait until they are about 15 before I start to really delve into the deep things of the faith. I mean, how do I explain the Trinity to a child? Or the concept of God’s rescuing love? Or the juxtaposition between free will and God’s control?

    Oy. Explaining sex doesn’t seem so bad compared to spiritual truth, simply because sex is concrete. Faith is not.

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