Tag Archives: manger

With ~ Five Minute Friday

Joining the lovely group of writers over at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com to write to the prompt “With” today.  Why, don’t you hop over there and see what others did with “With”!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2: 9-11 (NIV)/ Pixabay

Christmas Comes With or Without

Are you ready? There are only four days left until Christmas! Have you found the perfect gifts? Are they wrapped and placed under your beautifully decorated tree? Do you have your menus planned and the groceries stocked up in your cupboards? Are your cards and packages mailed to all those who are far away from you this season? Or maybe, just maybe…..you’re more like me: still finishing your cards, nothings wrapped, as a matter of fact, you’re still waiting for gifts to be delivered, and you have no idea what you need to get at the grocery store. Well, guess what? Christmas will come with or without all the preparations being made.

Think back to Mary and Joseph. They had a long trip ahead of them.  Joseph had readied a donkey for Mary to ride upon.  I’m sure Mary had prepared food for the journey.  They’d thought it through and everything seemed to be in place. That is of course, until they reached Bethlehem and found they weren’t prepared at all.

Mary was tired and uncomfortable. Crowds of people wandered the streets around them. Finally,  Joseph knocked on a door with the hope of preparing a place for Mary to rest, only to be turned away without a room or a plan. You know what happened next:

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2: 6-7 (NIV)

They weren’t in a warm, cozy room at the inn.  Christmas came without it.  Mary wasn’t prepared with baby clothes and a blanket but instead, had to wrap Him in cloths. Christmas came without them. There was no cradle to rock Him in, just a manger full of hay. Christmas came anyway. It wasn’t as they had hoped or planned but their baby met them right. where. they. were.

That’s the message for us this Christmas and every day: Jesus came to meet us right where we are.  We don’t have to do this or that.  Have this or that. Be this or that. Just like Christmas, Jesus comes with or without our feeling prepared to meet Him. And He loves us just as we are.

Yes, Christmas is only four days away and you may be sitting in the midst of wrapping paper rolls, ribbons and piles of unwrapped gifts, covered in flour as you roll out cookie dough, or find yourself tangled in strings of lights attempting to finally decorate the tree, all the while worrying that you’re not prepared. Take a deep breath and remember that Christmas will come, with or without every little thing being perfect and it will be fine. More importantly, remember that Christmas HAS come, long ago as a baby in a manger; Who’s gifts of hope and love are for each one of us, wherever. we. are.

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and if you’ve felt Jesus knocking on the door to your heart, now’s the perfect time to answer, make room, and let Him in to meet you where you are.

 

Deep ~ Five Minute Friday

I’m joining in (a little late) with the other great writers over at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com  writing to the prompt “deep”.  Hope you’ll visit and see what “deep” subjects they’ve written about! Here I go…….

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:6-7 (NIV) / Pixabay

In Too Deep

I remember an unexpected storm back when I was a teenager where it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. It continued until the drifts became as high as the windows on our house! When we finally took the plunge (literally) and headed out, we didn’t get far. It took only a few attempted steps to realize that the deep snow made it very difficult to move! As hard as it was for us, it was even worse for our little dog, Pixie.  Unaware of what awaited her, she dashed through the open door as usual only to immediately disappear from sight. As you might have guessed, her weight was too much for the soft, powdery snow and so she found herself unexpectedly submerged. Trapped in the hole of her own making, Pix was unable to see her way** out, powerless to move, and so she lifted her face to the sky and let out a forlorn cry. Things hadn’t gone as planned! She found herself in peril of being buried and all she wanted was to go back to the shelter of our house.

So, here we are, entering into the Christmas Season: a time of preparation, hope, and peace.  Wait! What? Peace? Oh, we set out as usual with the idea that this year we’ll cut back and focus more on the birth of Jesus, but then comes the blizzard of activities piling one upon the other upon the other, until we’re in too deep finding ourselves unexpectedly snowed under. And Baby Jesus? We lose sight of Him and are in peril of missing out on the joy of our Savior’s birth! It makes me think about those innkeepers long ago. They too were in the midst of a flurry of activity; unaware of what awaited them on the other side of the door when Joseph knocked or of the Miracle they crowded out of their lives.

What can we do to break free from the holiday trap we find ourselves in?  Maybe these simple things can help us see our way and move in the right direction:

*Pray ~ Making time in our busy day for prayer helps redirect our focus from our plan to His and reconnects us to the only Power we need to help dig our way out of all that weighs us down.

*Listen to the traditional Carols ~ You know I love music and Christmas songs rank high on my list but when I feel overwhelmed with expectations or begin to feel drained I turn on those old wonderful standards like “Silent Night”, “Away in a Manger”, and “Joy to the World” and let the story of Jesus’ birth sink into my soul as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

*Read the original Christmas story found in Luke 2 aloud from the Bible. It doesn’t matter if anyone other than you is listening or not.  Allow the words to speak to your heart and lift your spirit.

*Choose people over things ~ I am a perfectionist extraordinaire from way back, so I know the pressure we can put on ourselves to provide the “perfect” Christmas for everyone but I’m here to tell you, that mindset will sink us quickly into a deep hole of our own making. Spending time with those we love IS the perfect Christmas gift and no fancy wrapping is required!

It’s December 4th. Has the avalanche of “to do’s” begun? Are you already in too deep? I hope not, but if you are, like Pixie, lift your face to sky and cry out to the One who can help lead you back, not to the house, but to the shelter of a stable and the miracle of the Babe in the manger.

I would love for you to share ways that you use to keep Christmas from losing its true meaning and becoming overwhelming. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments! I need all the help I can get!