When we think of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, we immediately think of the manger scene. A small structure, the manger in the center and Jesus surrounded by Mary and Joseph and a collection of animals. Many manger scenes include shepherds, the magi and their camels and at least one angel.
Some may wonder, if Jesus was actually king, actually fully God as claimed, why such a lowly birth? I am not a biblical scholar, I haven’t studied in depth the books, the people or what was meant by this verse of that. All I can speak from, is the heart and what I have learned as I’ve walked my personal journey. I can share the information I have found along the way.
The birth of Jesus was intentional in every aspect. Through out the Bible the birth of Jesus is prophesied. This site, tells of 55: https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/old-testament-prophecies.html I won’t look for the other 245, we would then be here a while. The main point is that all through history, the coming of Jesus was foretold. In the above mentioned article, there is also information on the probability of all of those prophesies being fulfilled.
If we take it upon ourselves, we can find any amount of information on the birth of Jesus and what may or may not be true. Why this or that, happened. When it did or did not happen. I have no desire to get into the intellectual specifics of His birth. My thoughts are on the stable and the manger. Because that is the gift I would wish to give.
Jesus the Christ, born King of Kings, Lord of Lords; born in a stable and placed in a manger. How can that be? Why would that be? So we, mortal humanity, can relate.
Jesus the Christ, the promised Messiah, came to earth first, to be a servant and savior of mankind. He came to not only teach and show the way of and to God, but to be the way. Born of lowly birth, poor of material things, unencumbered by things man felt important. Earthly things will pass away, spiritual things are eternal.
A baby, placed in a manger. In my mind, up until now, it was not a notable event. It seemed natural, place the baby in the closest thing to a cradle. A place safe and off the floor. Then, in searching for more in-depth information, this article caught my eye and it made so much sense; https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-meaning-of-the-manger. Placed in a manger, a place were animals are fed. A child placed to feed humankind of all things spiritually important. Called the Bread of Life, our Living Water. A gift of love and a sacrifice of love.https://www.archspm.org/faith-and-discipleship/catholic-faith/i-know-jesus-was-born-in-a-manger-but-why-is-that-important-and-what-does-it-mean/
What does the birth of Jesus have to do with if I could give a gift? Simple. If I could, I would give the gift of that stable and manger in different ways. Obviously as a Christian, I would give to others the understanding of its significance. I would give the hope, mercy and love found there.
The other, is I would give the understanding of the meaning. A stable is a shelter. Not fancy or elaborate, just something to serve the purpose. Whether the actual stable then was a free standing structure or a cave is unimportant. What is important is that it was a shelter. Jesus, is our shelter. As we should seek to be a shelter for others. How? By being there for them in their time of need. Offering to listen, to feed, to help as we are able. To offer them a safe place to come to at any time.
To be like that manger, a place where others can come to be fed. Whether physically, spiritually or from any other need they may be facing. To be someone, that our family, friends and neighbors can count on in times of difficulties.
That we see, that all of this life is a temporary journey and that our purpose along the way is to be of help to those we pass. Just as the Samaritan helped the wounded man on the road, so should we do likewise. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2010%3A25-37&version=NIV