Christmas: Day 11- The Manger

Christmas: Day 11- The Manger

Day 11. December 11, 2019

Nativity Companion: The Manger

Opening Prayer:

God, in the midst of the hustle and noise of this time, might we seek to hear you in stillness. Might we become more clear about the gift that invites us back to the manger, to find our rest in you. AMEN.

Scripture: Luke 1:39-45 (NRSV).

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[ a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Reflection (from Tracy Mooty).

My simple design allows me to serve a most important purpose.  As feed trough for the animals, I am crafted to be both sturdy and steady, so as they gather around me, I am able to withstand their size and strength as they jostle for position.  In order to do my job well, I am also open so that I can receive and hold whatever type of nourishment is placed within me.  Of course, I then readily offer that nourishment to whatever animals come to me for sustenance.  No matter the hour, I stand ready to be of service.

One unforgettable evening, I served a most unexpected purpose!  All was quiet in the stable when I heard urgent whispers, hastened footsteps, and saw the approaching light from a swinging lantern.  The innkeeper soon appeared followed by a young couple who seemed quite weary and worried.  As they entered the stable, they looked resigned, but then seemed relieved.  Much to my surprise, they found a cozy corner furthest from the stable door, nestled together beneath their cloaks and quickly fell asleep. 

The peaceful stillness was soon broken by sounds I was well familiar with, those of new life being birthed.  The stable was filled with anticipation and the sky was filled with stars!  I could hardly fathom why the young man was filling me with hay in the dark of night until I realized that I was being given the highest and most holy honor of cradling the Light of the World!

Questions for Consideration.

  • How might the manger be an invitation and a reminder to focus on the simple, beautiful truth and life of this season?  
  • How can you remain sturdy and steady in spirit amidst the jostling of this season?
  • In what ways are you being invited to cradle the Light of the World?
  • How might you, like the manger, seek to be of service each day of Advent?

Closing Prayer. 

God, might we be a people of open hearts and homes, with hands ready for service. In the midst of the bustle of this season, remind us of the manger…that no gift is so simple that is might not make room for the light of the world. So make your home in us this season, oh God. Make your home in us. AMEN.

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