Thursday, December 23, 2010

away in a manger

Something about the Christmas story is so relevant to children.  Maybe it is the idea that Jesus was once a baby, just like us.  Perhaps it is the story of a Mama and Papa who talk to angels and ride on donkeys.  Or even the gifts that are brought from afar (though it is still a bit fuzzy to me why myrrh and frankincense were such a great idea.) Annike loves the story, and she was sitting on my lap during church this past Sunday when the pastor said the word "manger". She gasped with delight and said "You know that!"

That is the brilliance of the story - simple enough for a child to understand, yet deep enough for scholars to pour over. 
I find myself thinking a lot about hope around Christmas time.  The story of a baby born in a manger on a cold evening when Mary found shelter in a stable and the angels sang high above, is a story of great anticipation.  The star of Bethlehem shone as a bright beacon in the sky and those who understood that this child would become their Savior were given Hope.  Hope that God had truly not forgotten them, hope in the chance of salvation, hope in a tiny bundle of swaddling cloths lying on a manger.  Jesus did not save the world on that Christmas day 2000 years ago; that was day that Hope was born. 

Such a humble beginning with such a glorious finish.  It gives me hope in the aspects of my life that seem insignificant.  It gives me hope in a God who understands the world so much better than I do.

Annike is hoarding the animals from her Fischer Price Nativity scene which someone was clever enough to think of.  She knows most of the words in the first 2 verses of "Away in a Manger", a childhood favorite of my own.  In her simple childlike way, she understands the hope that was born that day in Bethlehem.  As she grows, she will understand the significance of hope itself.


  1. So lovely. As you know, I am full of information. Some useful, some useless. When I was in NZ one of our lecturers named Dr. Fruchtenbaum, a Messianic Jew (former rabbi, excommunicated from his family for becoming a believer in Jesus) told us that in Jewish culture, at the time of Jesus' birth, the Gold represented KINGSHIP. The Frankincense represented DIVINITY and the Myhrr represented SACRIFICE. The three things that Christ is. I thought it was pretty amazing. So, there you have it...a little info from my brain to yours!

  2. Ashley, I don't know why I did not realize you have a blog until just recently! All I can say is, sometimes I am not that quick. ; ) I hope you don't mind me reading. ANd commenting! I knew you were an effective communicator, from the eloquent emails you used to send to the soulfood discussion leaders. But I did not realize you are truly a gifted writer!


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