In April 2019 a fire broke out in the roof section of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and the Cathedral was almost destroyed. News reports indicate that repairs to the Cathedral are almost complete, and it will soon be open to the public.
Prior to the fire, among the many things displayed in the Cathedral were a large set of wood carvings depicting events in the life of Christ. They were large carvings, perhaps half-lifesize. They were carefully painted. They depicted people with great expressiveness. And they were old, having been made around 1350.
Did they somehow survive the fire? Will anyone be able to see them in the future? I do not know.
Several years ago I visited Notre Dame and photographed the carvings. For the December blog I thought it might be appropriate to show one of these photos: the Magi bringing gifts to the young Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12). This obviously didn't happen on Christmas Day, and it may have happened when Jesus was around two years old, but it has made an impression on many. I might think the visit of the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20) was more important, because if Jesus came for shepherds, clearly Jesus came for everyone. But the ones who carved these scenes gave scant attention to the shepherds and exalted the "kings." We can think of the "kings" as representing the entire world.
If you have a chance to visit Paris, take time to meditate and pray in the Notre Dame Cathedral, regardless of what your faith tradition may be.
Please don't use this photo for commercial purposes, and give credit to Richard Davies as the photographer.