Away in a Manger

While I was thinking about the meaning of Christmas this year, I thought back about the manger and how it’s not much different than our own hearts.

It’s interesting that God chose a manger to use as the birthplace for His only Son, Jesus. There was nothing special about that particular manger, I’m sure. Think about it. Animals, straw, most likely animal waste, the smell. I’m sure it wasn’t that pretty of a picture. And then, all of a sudden, it becomes the holiest place in the entire world. Not because of the place or anything it had to offer, but because of Jesus and His incarnation.

It is mind boggling to think that this dirty, smelly, uncomfortable place was chosen as the birthplace for the Savior of mankind. God’s ways are most definitely higher than ours. Back to how the manger relates to our hearts and souls.

Our hearts are dirty, smelly, unkept places if you really stop and think about it. The trend in society is to focus on the overall goodness of man, but left to our own devices, we can be wretched people. We are people in need of a Savior. Our hearts contain that smell. Not they might not smell like a sheep or a donkey in a manger, but they smell nonetheless. Our hearts contain the dirt of sin. They are untidy and unkept, and they need Someone to come and make them clean. Our hearts, like that manger, need to be made pure and holy by an outside force. Nothing that manger could have ever done would have made it like a fancy inn. In the same way, nothing we can do on our own will cleanse and purify our hearts.
It’s funny. There was no room for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the inn, “better” places, but there was room for them in a manger – most likely some sort of cave. Our hearts are exactly like that cave, as much as we would like to tell ourselves how good we are, our hearts resemble a dirty cave much more than they do the Hilton.

Take a look into your heart this season and I hope you will realize your need for THE Savior this Christmas.

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