Hello and I'm praying for you this morning, thinking of how incredible our King is. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace and He shall reign forever! I pray that each day this Christmas season you will experience Him as He is, Emmanuel God with us. We are no longer separated, no longer in darkness, no longer bound to the penalty of sin... because God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life! Oh this is the miracle of Christmas, that God has come to dwell in our hearts.
Today I was thinking about Jesus' birth. We know from Luke 2:12, that His parents wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. A Manger. All our lives we've been hearing the song at Christmas "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed....." As we arrange our Nativity set, we place baby Jesus in the manger. We've seen countless pictures of Jesus in the manger. Oh but today I'm thinking of the amazing significance of that manger, an intentional orchestration of the Holy Spirit.
The manger was an animal feeding trough. Here is the definition from Webster's. "A manger is a trough or box of carved stone or wood construction used to hold food for animals (as in a stable)." The animals would come and linger at the feeding trough, finding nourishment as they chewed and digested the food. Fast forward to Jesus in the manger, and the angels announcing to the shepherds that the Savior had been born and that they would "find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger." Oh the joy as they went to search for Him in Bethlehem...and they did find Him, in the manger, just as the angel had declared! The Savior, the long awaited King of Kings, Emmanuel God with us, was found in the feeding trough.
How appropriate that 30 years later, Jesus would call Himself the Bread of Life in John 6:35. He said, "I am the Bread of Life, whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst." In verses 48-51 He continues to speak of Himself as the Living Bread. It is also amazing that when Satan came to test Jesus in the wilderness, our King associates the Word with food, quoting from Deut. 8,"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God."(Luke 4) The Word is our daily nourishment and sustenance. Just as the shepherds searched for Him and found Him in the manger, we now search for Him and find Him in the Word. Meditating in the pages of the Living Word is feeding at the feeding trough. To obtain our daily life's nourishment, we much search for it and find it and linger there at the feeding trough of the Word.
Now we can say with the Psalmist in Psalm 34:8, "O taste and see that the Lord is good!" Psalm 11:4 can be a favorite this Christmas! "He provides food for those who fear Him, He remembers His covenant forever." Every day, let's come to the feeding trough of the Bible and find Him there, with Psalm 81:10 in mind..."open your mouth wide, and I will fill it!"