Manger Station

Instructions

Come before the manger representing the type of animal feeding trough that Jesus was placed in when he was born in Bethlehem. Imagine this hay-filled trough carrying a baby, and not just any baby, but the Son of God. Imagine the other animal sights and sounds and smells that might well have surrounded the baby Jesus as he experienced his first hours in human form.

Reflection

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:4-7

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26

Simple

How do you feel about the fact that the Christ-child, Jesus, was laid in a manger?

What does this show about what matters to God?

Imagine how you would like to respond if you were there, visiting the newborn King laid in a manger, like the shepherds did.

Go deeper

Philippians 2: 5-11

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Christ-child, Jesus, was born in some of the most humble and low circumstances imaginable. His entrance into the world was the opposite of human power and strength and importance. Yet no other birth in human history has mattered more than this one.

Reflect on humility in the birth, life and death of Jesus. Let God speak to you of His value for humility and the upside-logic of His kingdom. Let this lead you to worship of the one who is now exalted to the highest place, who is above every other name in heaven and on earth and under the earth.