It's that time of year again. Time to bust out the collection of Christmas CD's. There are some who start listening to their Christmas music well before the Thanksgiving turkey's even cold. There are some who change the channel when a carol comes on the radio. I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't mind listening to a few merry tunes here and there, especially as the big day nears. But, whether you are die-hard Christmas music fans or not, the meanings of the songs can't be overlooked. We've heard them so many times that our lips mouth the words without a second thought from our mind.
"Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head"
As we stand in the pew and mouth the words to this song, does the full gravity of what happened even enter our minds? God, the Creator of the world, was physically born into our world. Jesus, who is God, left Heaven and became sin. He left Heaven and chose to not only die for our sins, but also chose to experience pain, hunger, loneliness, sadness, exhaustion...He wanted a relationship with us so badly that He chose to come to this world that needed Him, but didn't want Him. And to fully tell His story of Love, He was born into poverty...literally without a place of His own to put His newborn head. He became human so that we could become righteousness through His pain and suffering.
The greatest love story ever told begins here in the manger.
The reason we are able to continue living with joy even after losing a child or husband or parent...is because our Lord was born in that manger!
The reason we can sit in a hospital room holding the hand of a loved one and have hope that even if they don't get better, we can trust that we will see them again someday... is because of that baby in the manger!
The reason we continue washing and cleaning and cooking while still being able to love these selfish, dirty, little people we call children...is because our Lord was born in a manger and allowed us to be His love, His patience, His forgiveness.
Our salvation begins here in the manger.