Our Savior was born and placed in a manger, a simple food trough, for He was given to us to become the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
The birth of Christ shows a loving God that wanted to dwell with His creation (John1:1, 14). He became what He created. He became what He spoke into existence. This birth of the Savior was prophesied long ago in the Old Testament. The story of His birth encircles the world that the Father created and often gets lost or shoved aside by worldly traditions.
Let us reflect, remember, and share with others the miraculous birth of our Lord, and the symbolic messages that surround his birth. Religious symbolism is revealed to us with eyes to see and those that walk in revelation knowledge.
This knowledge comes from seeking the truth and knowing the word. Everyday objects are used symbolically to help us understand difficult concepts. Symbolism can be visual or conceptual. Let us reflect on the birth of Jesus.
God the Father did not surround the birth of Christ and His humble beginnings with luxury, pampering and birth attendants. God was and is in control. We need to trust Him whatever our circumstances. The newness and hope given to mankind in the birth of the baby Jesus was set in contrast to dark shadows of the stable and lowly animals. It was here that the Old Testament made way for the New Testament, and mankind was given the greatest gift of all.
Did Mary complain about the conditions surrounding the birth? No, she trusted in the Lord with all her heart and did not lean on her own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Just as we must come to Christ as a child. We must learn to trust in Him and His promises. Love, adoration, and caring is all that really mattered with the birth of Jesus, for He had shelter and food.
We are to provide the needs of our family and loved ones in the same way. We are to teach them in the ways of the Lord. We are to surrender ourselves, trust in Him and seek His presence. We are to celebrate the substance of His birth not the “fluff” of the Christmas season.
The birth from a virgin represents the spiritual nature of our God in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Son of Man born an infant, demonstrates that we, as babes in Christ, must grow in faith.
Local shepherds, who were given an invitation to the birth were the first to see the King of Kings laying in the manger. They are like teachers of today leading their flocks. Shepherds who were protecting the dependent lambs from danger. Lambs who need to be fed and guided to green pastures. Lambs who were most likely to be sacrificed for the next Passover.
They were the working class often considered a rough bunch. These shepherds were chosen to proclaim the word of His birth and give glory to the Most High! So to, we are called into ministry to share the Good News (Matthew 28:19-20). We will be given the tools needed no matter where our walk in life has brought us. The Bible teaches that our faith grows with trials and tribulations and this is more valuable than gold (1Peter 1:7).
The wise men who showed up later brought gifts for the King recognizing His holiness. Remember they did not return to Herod to disclose the location of the birth. We, too, are not to place ourselves within reach of the enemy but to steer clear and keep evil from influencing our decisions.
Christ enters our life like Jesus born in the stable. Through our weakness and struggles when we are in the dark He is the light (2 Corinthians 12:9). He is ever-present to pick up the pieces. No matter how dingy or humble our surrounding may be or where you have trodden. No matter how far we fall, His arms are outreached to save us from ourselves.
Our Christmas Prayer
Father, Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, thank you for sending your Only Begotten Son through the miracle of Christmas. You humbled yourself to walk among us. Lest we not forget the symbolism of the birth of Christ. We shall surrender and humble ourselves, our hearts, to your service.
Help us become childlike, like God himself in Jesus, so we can find the greatness of Christ that resides in us. Give us wisdom, and understanding of the word. Steer us away from that which is not of you most Heavenly Father. Let us see where evil lurks with clear eyes and not hear, shut out, the whispers of the evil one.
Use our weakness to make us strong in you, Heavenly Father. We desire to bring glory to your Holy Name and others to salvation, as did the shepherds. King of Glory you sent your Son and placed Him in the manger as the Bread of life, so we can find life and have it more abundantly. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.