Luke 2:4-7 – And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (KJV)
At Christmas Eve services I usually have tears when I hear Silent Night being played, especially when it is presented in a candlelight service. These are tears of joy as they remind me of God's Son coming to earth for us, and also bring back happy memories from my girlhood Sunday school, church and choir days. My family always remark, "Better get out some tissues for Mom!"
At one particular Christmas Eve service which I attended with my daughter and granddaughter, I noticed as they were playing Away in a Manger, that tears were streaming down my daughter's face. I asked her, "How come — are you getting sentimental like your Mom?" Her reply was "No", but I cannot help thinking how sad it must have been for Mary and Joseph to find nothing except a manger in a stable in which to lay our Lord Jesus.
We talked about this and tried to put ourselves in that situation, and we could not comprehend, even in these days of hospital bed shortages, what it would be like to have to give birth to a baby in a stable. Yet these were exactly the circumstances in which our Lord was born.
Almost two thousand years ago Jesus came to earth,
He was of lowly birth,
His bed was in a cattle stall,
But still He came to save us all,
Come again, Lord Jesus,
Daddy, please let our Lord Jesus in when he knocks at our door,
Lest He go away and return never more.
He did, He came to earth long ago,
Amid the frost and winter snow,
To give us life that we might live
In peace and love and glory free.
Down the lane the silence of the snow is shouting
Can't you hear the hallelujah angels?
"Listen! listen!" they are saying loud and clear,
"Christ is here; Christ is here; Hallelujah!"
Oh, if only we would remember as this Christmas season approaches how very much God gave when He sent His only begotten Son into the world, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Prayer: Dear Lord, as another celebration of your birth fast approaches, help us to show love like yours to our fellow men. Help us to ensure that the children are not the forgotten ones during all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. We pray that we do not get so caught up in the commercialism that we forget the real meaning of Christmas. Let us be ever mindful of the needs of others, and give where the need is greatest, and not give just to receive in return. When we sing Away in a Manger, let us contemplate the little child who came to be our Saviour, born in a stable, and pray that those who are giving birth throughout this whole world have warm beds in which to lay their little children. Amen.