WHAT IS THE MESSAGE IN THE MANGER?

It’s the middle of the night and I’m standing

in a breezy, cold makeshift manger

with droopy-eyed sheep and cattle,

staring at a young couple

that I never saw before

huddled in one corner of the manger.  

The man has his arm and cloak around her

and she’s leaning against him holding a baby

that looks brand new.  

What a humble way to start a life, I thought.  

It didn’t make sense to me

and neither did the words

that the other older shepherds were murmuring…..

”Messiah.”  

“God with us.”  

“Son of God.”  

I was hearing….but not understanding.

The Son of God born in a lowly stable?

In a humble, cold, breezy manger

filled with slumbering animals?

It couldn’t be more simple, more basic,

more non-conventional.

No frills, no pomp, no pageantry,

no temple, no cathedral,

no planning committee, no special music,

no pastor, no bishop, no sermon,

no distractions.

Just a man, a woman, and a baby,

in a manger.

Simple…..humble.

And then I thought,

Somehow, someway, someday,

mere mortals will surely miss the MESSAGE

in this manger

and mess it up.

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