A Christmas Eve/Christmas Day Reflection
She gave birth to her firstborn son…and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2.7)
This story, at first glimpse of a mother laying her newborn in a squalid stable’s feeding trough for animals, is a rank depiction of destitution. Yet, at second and countless additional glances, it is, for me, a portrait of highest hope. For it reflects a longing for the way life and the world are meant to be. A longing so embedded and abiding in the human heart precisely because it is seldom realized.
This baby, according to his-story, grew up and became for many then and, according to history, has been for countless thereafter the incarnation of love; the benevolence for which human souls hunger and thirst. This baby found no room in the inn and was laid in a manger.
An inn is a lodging place for visitors. A temporary house for those who are not at home.
A manger is a place for food where those who are hungry come to be fed.
This Jesus, incarnate love, housed not in the inn, but laid in a manger, then, was no temporary guest, but rather the permanent feast!
Could it be that love is the food we are to partake, so that we become what we eat? Could it be that love, embraced by us and embodied in our lives, will no longer visit, but be at home in this world?
If so, then we, this Christmas Day and every day, will make all the difference in this world.
© 2020 PRA