December 14, 2021

‘Away in a Manger’

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger. . . .

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger. . . .

—  Luke 2:7

“Away in a Manger” is a beloved song that seems like a lullaby. In fact, many children learn this song at a very young age. It tells the story of the birth of Christ in a clear and simple way, and it shares how the situation of Jesus’ birth was very humble.

In Philippians 2 we read how Jesus “humbled himself.” Not only does Jesus humble himself by taking on our human flesh, but his very birth takes place in humble circumstances.

Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem, his family’s hometown, to register for a census that was required by the Roman government. And when they arrived, there were no guest rooms available, so Joseph and Mary could not find a place to stay. They had to take shelter in a stable, and that’s where Mary gave birth to Jesus. So she wrapped him in cloths and placed him in the animals’ feed trough, a manger.

The humility of Jesus’ birth is deeply significant. We would not expect the King of all nations to be born in such meager circumstances. Yet Jesus was born in a stable. This shows us that no matter how poor, dirty, weak, or insignificant we might think we are, Jesus came to save us all.

Jesus, the King of kings, humbled himself and took on our flesh. And his humility and love for us were on full display from the moment he was born to the moment he gave up his life to save us from our sin.

Thank you, Jesus, for showing your love and humbling yourself for our sake so that we can be saved. Amen.

About the author — Brian Kuyper

Brian Kuyper is the lead pastor at a church in Taber, Alberta. He has served in two congregations in southern Alberta over the past 12 years. He is married to Brenda, and they have three school-age children.

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