Dec 10, 2017

Devotion - 10 Dec - The Manger

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. Today we added the manger to our Nativity scene. As we did last week, we are preparing for something great to come. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin.
Gospel Reading:  John 1:19-28
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Devotion: The Manger
I’ll bet you are familiar with one of the old classic Christmas carols, “Away in a manger”, it is very popular in English speaking countries. A manger, though, is nothing more than a feeding trough for farm animals. When it became time for the birth of the King of Kings, there was only room in a lowly farm shed or perhaps a stable, for the earth-shattering event that had been predicted by John the Baptizer in our text today. If you think about how Jesus conducted His ministry, He tended to stay away from the elites of the time, and ministered to the poor, misfortunate, lame, and outcasts. He is setting the example that people just like you and me are valuable. Fame and fortune may belong to the elites, but in God’s Kingdom we are all more valuable to God than anything on earth. At Christmas there can be a tendency to think a whole lot about material things. I’d like to point out at least five behaviors we should consider instead of craving material things: 1-Love people not possessions. 2-Do not compare yourself to others. 3-Appreciate what you have. 4-Choose your friends and form relationships wisely. 5-Feed your spiritual life. As we get closer to Christmas I just know that most of us are making gift lists and taking shopping trips [or online purchasing binges]. I wonder if we can pay more attention to what Jesus taught us about the real gifts of life.

We pray: “Lord, thank you for teaching us the value of life.  Amen”