Luke 2:10-12 “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
When you meet a couple with a new baby you don’t comment on the pram, or the beautiful new cot, you gush over the baby. Yet, when it comes to the Christmas manger, you see it on cards, in nativity scenes, you hear of it in songs. This is possibly the most famous animal feeding trough in history. But to concentrate on the manger and forget why it was mentioned is to miss the point.
The Gospel of Luke mentions the manger three times as it was a sign to the shepherds of which baby to seek. These instructions were significant because of what the manger held – this child, “a saviour, born to you, messiah, Lord.” The manger is also a sign of the kind of saviour the world ought to expect. After all, a prospective King is not normally born placed in a feeding trough, surrounded by strangers who are shepherds.
Already we can see the peace the Angels sing of will not come through the power and glory of earthly Kingdoms. Instead it has begun in the lowliness of a manger. Ultimately it will be secured on a brutal cross.
Every Christmas reminds us God works in ways we don’t expect. At least until you know the point of Christmas and the person of Jesus. Then you probably should be less surprised to see how the power and glory of God is found even in weakness, humility and sacrifice.