MARY MANGER MONDAY
It is the night before Christmas and Ethel the cat is curled up as I dashed through the rooms, emptying bags, wrapping presents, dipping pretzels, and cleaning up. The trees are ready, and the stockings are hung waiting for the big day.
As I made a cup of tea, I caught a glimpse of the moon. A beautiful moon high in the sky. I stopped and thought about Mary and Joseph as they traveled throughout the day. Mary must have been so uncomfortable riding on the donkey for such a long time. Then tired, hungry, and weary, unable to find a room at the inn, they settled for a stable filled with animals, straw and a makeshift manger.
When I picture the stable, I feel as if the inside was warm and glowing with the anticipation of a unique birth; the birth of a baby who would change the world. Sometimes I like to close my eyes and imagine I am there with them, listening to the animal’s warm sounds; practicing like a chorus for the new little precious baby soon to make His appearance.
Then it is silent, and the animals know that it is time. Soon they hear a cry, a beautiful cry, and the cows, sheep, and all the other animals know that a special baby was born.
Outside high in the sky, on a night just like this night, a star bigger and brighter than any other sends its rays of brightness to all corners bringing the three Wisemen bearing gifts. Back at the stable, Mary and Joseph along with angels, and a little shepherd boy watch with love at the baby who would make a difference. A baby who would grow up and become a carpenter. A baby who someday would be crucified and take away the sins of the world.
I love the Christmas story. It is beautiful and meaningful to all who read it. It is a story that I think about not just at Christmas but often throughout the year. Jesus is always with us. He loves us, He forgives us, and listens to us when we pray. His words give us hope. And to think that it all started in a lowly stable in Bethlehem so many years ago.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas.