The amazing message of Christmas is that God wrapped his presence in human form and came uniquely into our world in a baby lying in a manger. This is the most exciting and amazing story the human race has ever heard. “And this will be a sign for you. You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” The baby Jesus entered the world in a humble and not a spectacular way. Jesus was born not in a palace but a stable. He came into a home not of wealth but poverty. He was born to parents not of great intellectual gifts with fame and prestige, but instead to a poor peasant family. His coming was hailed by shepherds, not kings. He was laid in a manger, not on a throne. At his birth there was no blast of trumpets; there were no clanging of cymbals, no roll of drums. There were no television cameras, no radio or news reporters. “How silently, how silently this wonderful gift was given.”
God’s coming into the world was modest and unexpected. The thought is staggering that the omnipotent God of the universe chose the form of a baby as the divine way of entering a particular time and place in human history. John wrote in his Gospel, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The original Greek states that “He tabernacled among us”…literally, “he pitched his tent with us.” Through the son we saw the glory and love of the Father. “The Incarnation was an act of sacrifice and of humiliation—real however voluntary,” wrote William Temple, the English theologian. God’s coming in a baby born in a manger reveals the power of humble, sacrificing love which embraces humanity as worthy of divine love and concern. This same “manger power” was seen throughout the ministry and sacrificial death of Jesus who proclaimed he had come to serve and to seek and save the lost.
At Christmas time we have the opportunity to affirm and express our gratitude for God’s marvelous grace and love.
Prayer: Loving God, we knell before your manger and thank you for such marvelous love and grace. May your divine love enable us to love others as you have loved us. Amen.