Monday, November 30, 2020

Away in a Manger

"Away in a Manger"


I  do like this song. I find the melody soothing and the words tender. It speaks of love and a desire to be close to Jesus and for Jesus to be close to us. As much as I love the picture this song paints, I'm not sure I like the poetic license the writer takes when he talks about the animals making noise and baby Jesus waking up and not crying.

You see, the way I read the Bible Jesus was as much of a human being as you and me. Fully human. He cried as a baby. He needed to be fed by his teenage mom. He needed his diaper changed or whatever they did back then. He had gas. He burped. He spit up. He probably had some sleepless nights as did Mary and Joseph. Jesus was not just pretending to be a little baby. He was a little baby.  

He is the creator of the universe. The one who spoke everything into existence.  The imaginator that gave us reindeer and hippos. The artist that gives us sunsets and ice coated trees. The constructor who placed the stars and the planets. The conductor who orchestrates it all. That ONE came into our world needing everything! He humbled himself to be taken care of. It was not an act. It was not a fraud. He was a little baby boy.

God in the straw has a lot to teach me about humility. My self sufficiency needs to be challenged so I don't forget my need for God and others. If God can be humble enough to be a child, can I be humble enough to ask for and accept help?  If a simple manger was good enough for a king, maybe my house is good enough for me. If God can set aside his rightful place of authority and splendor and accept living with parents and family, maybe I don't have to be right, recognized and remembered all the time.

Simplicity.  Humility.  Acceptance.  Three gifts we all could use this Christmas.

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