The Manger Is Empty.
Although it is wonderful to celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus at Christmas, there is an important thing to remember. The manger is now empty. Jesus the Messiah is now not only grown to be a man, he sacrificed himself for us, died on a cross and rose again. He is now seated in glory at the right hand of God the Father. Yet, defying our imagination, he also comes, with the Father, to make a home in our hearts when we love him and obey him. What does obedience on our part require? To believe in him above all else in our lives, to put him above all else in our lives. This leaves me speechless [almost].
But let’s back up to the manger. It was an incredible miracle for Jesus to be born in a lowly manger for our salvation [and according to scripture we don’t know if there was even a stable…scripture makes no reference to one.] The biggest, most amazing miracle for me happened nine months earlier. Jesus, the son of God, who, according to the Gospel of John, was with God in the beginning and was God, and through whom all things were made, Jesus became a tiny human single cell in Mary’s womb.
Did the Father say, “We need a human savior who is also God, a savior who will come to earth in all aspects as a human, including starting human life as a tiny cell. And Jesus the Son part of God the Trinity, said, “Pick me, I’ll go.”
The Father said, “You will have to divest yourself of all your glory. No God-attributes until you are 30 some years old and are baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Jesus; “That’s okay, pick me.” The Father adds, “You will have no autonomy even as a human until you reach human adulthood. You will rely entirely on your parents, and they may not always have all they need to provide even a good human life. You will have times of being poor in human terms. They may also make mistakes as all human parents do.”
Jesus; “That’s Okay, pick me.”
So The Father said, “I choose you. You are the chosen one.”
And so it happened. The embryo grew in the womb of an unknown, unmarried young girl who was probably somewhere between 12 and 14 years old. The baby was born in a dark corner of the world and laid in a manger, a feeding trough. His arrival was not announced to kings or religious leaders, but to the lowliest in human terms, shepherds. But his glory was revealed then, in the visitation of myriads of angels saying [and likely singing] Glory to God in the Highest and the good will of God towards humans.
This is Christmas, the Celebration of Christ our Saviour and Deliverer.
Scripture references; Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:2-4, Hebrews 4:15-16, John 14:6-7, 9, 23, John 1:1-5, John 5:24, Luke 1:26-38
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