“Your Savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you; you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:9-10
In our living room, I have an old wooden feeding trough. Several years ago, I found it at an antique store and brought it home. When Rick noticed it, he asked, “Why do we have a feeding trough in our living room? I hope you didn’t pay money for it.”
I put music in it. It also has a little shelf on the bottom where I can display pictures or things folks have given me. No, it’s not being used as intended. But I like the looks of it and it fits in with much of the other furniture I have.
When we think of a manger, we generally think of a feeding trough for animals. Maybe a couple feet long and 10”wide. High enough for whatever animal it was intended for. And sometimes, like my music rack, they get used for things other than originally intended.
This manger might have been for a cow or a donkey. Possibly some sheep. I’m sure it was simply made, not fancy and good enough to get the job done. How did a manger get put into use for Baby Jesus’ crib? Probably out of necessity because that was all Mary and Joseph had readily available to them. After a long, tiring journey and just finding a place for lodging, Mary quickly resigned to whatever could be easily found would be Jesus’ crib. Even a manger.
Can you imagine a first-time Mom today using a crib? Very doubtful. First time moms want to make sure they have the safest items out there. They often go out of their way and will check multiple sources to ensure what the baby has will be beyond acceptable.
No crib was just more thing that Mary hadn’t completely planed for as she traveled to Bethlehem. By this time, she’s not thinking, “What more can go wrong?” She’s resigned to the fact that this journey, this delivery this whole baby situation is so out of her control she can no longer predict what might happen. A manager as a bed for the Savior of the world? Perfectly fine, Mary thinks. We’ll make it work.
Lord God – details are important. Amazingly, the details you share us have layers of meaning. Probably nothing other than a manger was available. Yet, it was just fine for Mary and the baby. Already, we see how Jesus came not to be served but to serve. Help us see where we can choose to be more humble and flexible. Amen.