NOEL ministry hopes to see nativity scenes on every lawn

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 19, 2009

Have you ever felt God speaking to you? For Charles Walden, it happened after hearing his pastor preach a sermon about the importance of daily, quiet time with God.

Walden began devoting time every morning to pray and think about God. Then, he started writing a blog to record his thoughts, which he emailed to his family and friends.

While blogging about the Christmas rush one day, he made note of how few Nativity scenes were displayed by Christians during the Christmas season. Last year, he and his wife, Cyndi, closely observed how many homes had a display on their lawns celebrating the birth of Christ.

As a result, Charles Walden believes God gave him a vision to begin NOEL Ministry “to put Christ back in Christmas by encouraging a Nativity On Every Lawn.” Most Christians agree that it’s “a travesty that we can no longer display a Nativity scene on government property,” Walden writes.

A simple, novel idea occurred to him. If Christians displayed their faith at their own homes, it wouldn’t matter whether their city or state government displayed a Nativity scene. After much prayer, Charles and Cyndi Walden and some of their close friends launched NOEL.

They “dream of the day when there is a Nativity On Every Lawn,” so they ask that we encourage our friends, church, and neighborhood to participate. NOEL Ministry also asks us to give nativity scenes as Christmas gifts.

The name of their ministry reminded me of the Christmas carol, “The First Noel.” Noel is the French word for Christmas. The message of Christmas could also be defined as a Nativity Offered Every Life.

“Just as our Lord came into human history from outside it, He must also come into me from outside,” writes Oswald Chambers. Christ came into the world that first Noel as a babe in a manger to become our Savior. As another Christmas carol says, the Holy Babe of Bethlehem was born to “cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.”

Jesus said every man, woman, boy or girl must be born again (John 3:3). “This is not a command, but a fact based on the authority of God. The evidence of the new birth is that I yield myself completely to God that ‘Christ is formed’ in me,” Chambers explains salvation.

Acts 4:12 tells us salvation cannot be found in any other, “For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” The message the angels announced to the shepherds is the message of the Gospel “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” Luke 2:10.

Christ gives, not only everlasting love, but He now offers eternal life for whoever believes in Him. What if there were a “Nativity” in every life? Do you hear Christ speaking to you? Let Him be born in your heart today.