May we have eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand that beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born within ourselves and in the world.

-Friedrich Buechner


Luke 2:12

This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 


Luke’s gospel mentions the manger. “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” 

When Jesus was born, he was placed in a manger, a simple box to feed animals. He and his family rested inside a stable. It was a dirty smelly place. We can be sure Mary and Joseph cleaned it as best they could. After all, this was their first child. Can you imagine how they felt seeing their baby so meek and mild wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a feeding trough. Was this the sign the angels told the shepherds to look for? Every baby in Bethlehem was wearing swaddling clothes. However, it was not the clothes, but the manger that was the sign for the shepherds. The shepherds were probably confused when they heard the angels give them instructions to the manger, particularly about whom they would find – a Savior, Christ the Lord, the King of Kings. Royal babies were not placed in feeding troughs for unclean animals. They were placed in beautiful cradles in clean palaces. Even in their confusion the shepherds still came as fast as they could and found exactly what the angels had told them – a manger, and a baby – the King of Kings. What God can do with this one manger is enough to make us all leap for joy and run as fast as we can to the King of Kings. 


As you experience the Joy of Christmas give a smile, say hello and Merry Christmas. Something as simple as a smile can help change the world.

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