Note: I have a Christmas tradition to retell when my dog almost ate Baby Jesus. It is like watching a Charlie Brown Christmas or It's a Wonderful Life.. for DOGS.
Dateline December 2004: My wife Mary and I display several nativity sets each Christmas season. The year 2004 was a Christmas season like most all the others, EXCEPT our year-and-a-half-old dog Baylie (Husky Springer Spaniel mix) still liked to chew on things that were not her designated chew toys.
One of those items is my kneaded eraser, which I use when drawing my cartoons, which looks like a lump of clay. Baylie would sneak it off my desk and chew it up but never swallow it. Leaving a mangled pile of eraser fragments on the family room floor. I push the crumbs back together and continue to use them. I know, I know... Ewwwww!! But she cleans the pencil lead out of it, and dog drool is an active agent in making the eraser. Now, in the year 2022, my dog, Cooper, does the same thing! BUT I DIGRESS.
Back to the Larson Nativity sets. One afternoon in December 2004, my wife and I came home to what looked like a Nativity Mob Kill scene. The wooden cart from the stable was in pieces, a shepherd was lying face down on the coffee table, and a baby sheep fell off the table and onto the living room carpet.
I can’t imagine the horror in the eyes of the 3 wise men who traveled so far only to see Baylie walk off with Baby Jesus in the clutches of her jaw.
The question remained: why?
Good News: A short time later, the 'baby Jesus' hostage crisis ended. The son of God in ceramic form was returned to his ceramic parents, Mary & Joseph, who were beside themselves with worry. Baylie was thankful God did not strike her with lightning, which was within His right. I mean... He is God.
But.. just a couple weeks later, Baylie was shocked (literally) when she chewed the lights on our Christmas tree.
Coincidence? I think not.
Moral of the story. If you really love Jesus, don’t risk God revoking your ticket to Heaven just because your nativity sets are low enough for Baby Jesus to be mauled by the family dog. AND.. just like Baylie could not get Jesus in her heart by eating a figurine, neither can any of us have Jesus in our hearts just by going to church.
May this Christmas be a peaceful season of adoration and personal faith where Jesus is in our hearts, not just our nativity sets.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson