Symbols and Meanings of Christmas: Nativity

Each day between December 1-25, we will look at one of the traditional symbols of Christmas, what these symbols mean and how they tell the Christmas story of our Savior’s birth.

The Nativity

One of the most heart-warming expression of Christmas is the Nativity. The word nativity is taken from the Latin nativus, which means “arisen by birth.” Nativities are art, models, carvings, or live demonstrations depicting the night of Jesus’ birth. These scenes generally contain the same elements: the Christ child in a manger; His mother, Mary; His earthly father, Joseph; shepherds; angels; various barn animals; and sometimes three wise men.

The Mystery of God’s Wisdom is seen in the Nativity

The Nativity speaks of the mystery of God’s wisdom. Why God chose to send His Son into our world as a baby of humble birth, born in common surroundings and in a filthy cattle stall, we do not know. What we do know is that God reached out to all people including the poor and wealthy, the simple and the wise, the powerless and the powerful. All who found Him knelt in humility before Him. Knowing God is possible because He came to us, at our level.

Whenever we see a Nativity, we find ourselves with Mary and Joseph; with the shepherds, and with the wise men; bowing before the manger, overwhelmed by God’s expression of love in coming to us.

God’s Love Revealed in the Nativity

The passion of God’s heart for us was revealed through the gift of Christmas. God’s only begotten Son, Jesus, was that gift of love. Obscure and common, miraculous and divine, God sent His love in a tiny baby boy born
in a humble manger. This little Child would change the world forever.


This baby would define time, bring kings to their knees, reach to the lowest sinner, and save all who would believe.

Biblical Account vs. Traditional Nativity Scenes

The nativity scene takes its inspiration from the accounts of the birth of Jesus as told in the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke. Luke describes an angel announcing the birth of Jesus to shepherds who then visit the humble site where Jesus is found lying in a manger, a trough for cattle feed. Matthew tells us about the “wise men,” sometimes referred to as magi, who follow a star to the house where Jesus dwelt, and indicates that the Magi found Jesus some time later, approximately two years after his birth, rather than on the exact day.

While the Magi and the angels are often displayed in a nativity scene with the Holy Family and the shepherds, according to Biblical accounts the angels appeared in the field where the shepherds were tending the flocks and the wise men didn’t arrive until two years later. They were not in the stable with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Only the shepherds came the night of his birth to see the promised Messiah.

In spite of the discrepancies depicted in most nativities and the Biblical account, the most important thing about a nativity is its message to the world: Because our sin requires a perfect sacrifice before a holy and just God, our Heavenly Father sent His own Son to earth as a man so that He could become that sacrifice (John 3:16). The child who was born to Mary and laid in a manger would one day grow up to die on a cross and rise again so each and every person who believes in Him may receive forgiveness for sin and eternity in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4).

The First Nativity

Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 at Greccio, central Italy, in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving. Staged in a cave near Greccio, Saint Francis’ nativity scene was a living one with humans and animals cast in the Biblical roles.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gifts-bottom-border-1024x266.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blue-merry-Christmas-banner-1024x380.png
Revive Renew Redeem logo on self-care post
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Christmas-divider.png

Check out our Spreadshop store with Christian Tees and other products

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cartoon-man-with-sign-1024x638.png

The elves have been busy! Check out these new Christmas designs

There are only 3 weeks until Christmas. Products are printed when ordered, so allow time for printing and shipping. See them all in the store.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cluster-samples-1024x987.png

Here are some of our other Christmas Christian tees designs.

Here are a few samples of our Christmas designs. You can see them all in the store. There are only 5 weeks ’til Christmas. All designs are printed when ordered so you’ll need to give time for printing and shipping. Order early to ensure they arrive in time for wearing this holiday season or giving as gifts.

Here are some of our favorite designs

Listen to our Christmas Playlist on YouTube

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is youtube-logo-1-1024x720.png

Get a head start on your Christmas Shopping at Christian Book Distributors

Only 4 weeks ’til Christmas!

Christmas Store

Click here to enter the Christian Book Distributors 2020 Christmas Collection

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.

Here’s some of our recent posts.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Cover_m.jpg

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Christian-book-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is amazon-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Barnes-and-Nobel-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is walmart-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is green-divider.png

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 


Follow us on:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FB-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is linked-in-logo-1.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is twitter-bird.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is instgram-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pintrest-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pintrest-logo.png

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.