Away In A Manger

AWAY IN A MANGER:   Jesus Christ was born in solitude, away from the crowds, just as He sought time alone during his public ministry as an adult.  Granted, He was always found, whether by shepherds and kings or a crowd hungry for more miracles, but Jesus certainly showed us the value of time away. Let us take time alone this day, or this week, to find a place to be away – with Jesus.  Find Him alone as the shepherds did and honor Him, show Him the clean place you have created in your heart where you want Him to reside forevermore.  Nestle together in the stable, warm with the satisfaction that your God will always be with you, no matter how far away you may feel.

NO CRIB FOR A BABE:   The lesson for us from Jesus’ entrance into the cold world is humility.  Christ allowed Himself to be cared for by Mary as we must learn to allow Him to care for us.  We are called to be little children, trusting, obedient, and relying not on our own lofty knowledge but on the faith that God will always take care of us. Let us pray that we may appreciate the simplicity of a baby without a crib, who must be carried or cuddled, who relies completely on His parents, even though He created them in the first place.  May we be content with what we have.

THE LITTLE LORD JESUS LAID DOWN HIS SWEET HEAD:   When we sing of the Infant Jesus laying down His sweet head, I can’t help but think of another time His head was laid low, when the crown of thorns was placed upon it as punishment for the sins of us all.  He redeemed the sinfulness of our minds, where so much evil takes place, by allowing his head to be pierced.  The blood of Jesus ran down His face, pouring out salvation for the world.  Do you think Mary, His mother, pictured His head surrounded by manger hay when she saw it encircled by thorns?

THE STARS IN THE SKY LOOKED DOWN WHERE HE LAY:   If you take a moment to ponder what “looking” stars might mean, what do you think? I think of the Community of Saints, which includes the faithful here on Earth, the faithful who have passed into Eternal Life and those who are on their way.  Imagine the hope and delight of those “stars” waiting for the doors of Heaven to be opened again, those saints looking down to see the Savior of the world born in a manger.

THE LITTLE LORD JESUS ASLEEP ON THE HAY:   How’s your hay?  We are one week away from Christmas, and rather than getting caught up in counting the shopping days we have left, I need to focus on the days for hay-gathering.  It’s time to recommit to making little acts of sacrifice, kindness and generosity each day of Advent.  To give gifts to the Infant Jesus out of pure love for Him and His children. I want to make a soft bed of hay for Him to sleep on when He comes to us next Thursday!


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