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Listen while you read: "Away In A Manger"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 2:7 – And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NASB)

It was a cold Christmas Eve. I found myself very comfortable within the lobby of my assisted living residence, conversing with staff members who were on duty. In the corner of a small sitting area, a highly customized manger scene had been developed — it was the first year that it had appeared.

During the course of the evening, there was a call from the owners of the facility with the request to "put the Babe in the manger." Discussion ensued as to when to place the Babe in the manger — no one seemed to know. I was asked for my opinion. I was familiar with the tradition of some churches to place the Baby Jesus in the manager at midnight – not beforehand – since Christ had not yet come. But on Christmas Day, the Babe is placed in the manger as part of the celebration of Messiah's coming. So in our facility, we decided to follow that custom.

Reflecting on this tradition, I am reminded that God's Son came to us just at the right time — not a moment too soon or too late, but rather in accordance with His divine plan. Nothing was by accident.

Galatians 4:4 – But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law. (ESV)

Everything happened in fulfillment of Scripture. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town whose name in Hebrew means "house of bread". But the people of Israel did not understand that He was the Bread of Life. His crib was a manger, a feeding trough, and He was wrapped in strips of cloth, so they did not recognize Him as the new King and God incarnate. He entered this world in an utterly dependent state, demonstrating an act of humility, a trait which characterized His entire earthly life — for example, when He washed the disciples' feet.

How different Christmas can be for us if we take some time to reflect on the Babe in the manger instead of our worldly cares. How has His birth touched our lives? Does God's love — the very reason for Christ's coming into the world — fill us with the real joy of Christmas? Will we have taken time to let God's love fill us with the real joy of Christmas? If so, then we will be able to experience the same transformation that affected the shepherds, the wise men, and all the others who came to the manger.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we humbly adore and thank You for having so humbled Yourself for our salvation as to will to be born in a stable. We thank You for showing us the ways to be humble by Your example while You were here on earth. Help us to approach our daily tasks and service with humility and grace. This we ask in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.

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About the author:

Parise Arakelian

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Merry Christmas Parise.

    Merry Christmas Parise – you still do one of my favourite readings. God Bless!

    Outstanding Parise!
    Merry Christmas.

    Merry Christmas, Parise.
    Thank you for a beautiful devotional and prayer.

    Many thanks for your thoughtful message. I did not know about traditions re time to place the babe in the manger! Merry Christmas!

    Parise, this was perfect for Christmas day. I never heard of that custom before but you applied it very well to the Scripture. Blessings.

    The story you depict is ever true, yet ever new.
    For this reminder I thank you.

    An excellent and timely message Parise,
    Thanks you for sharing.
    May God richly bless you this Christmas season in celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    We will share your devotional and prayer. What a blessing you are to us. We really appreciate your writing.

    Bless you, Parise, for another marvellous Devotional.

    A BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS to you Parise! By now you have no doubt had your celebration however you do it. We were with my grandson and his family for the morning, but the whole family will not be together until Sunday.
    Thank you for always sharing the Good News in your own special way. Coming home today I reminded my daughter that not one word this said this morning about why and who we were celebrating. So much laughter over
    I reminded her that her Dad and I had done all we could have done, and that she and her husband had done all they could, in bringing our children up in a strong Christian church and home. The choices our children make are theirs and we are not responsible. We both felt badly but know that we’ve done all we could and put them in the Lord’s hands. They all know the truth and the decisions are theirs as to what they want to about them. We both agreed that our hope and prayer is that they will be led into the paths of those who can help lead them to the Savior.
    Well, thank you.
    God bless you real good and stay well.

    Wow That was a great one. Thank you.

    Hi there
    All praise to our lord and peace be with you.

    So beautifully written Parise. Your gift is a great blessing to me and so many others. The Lord God delights in you.

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