This very special series of Christmas devotionals is by Trudy Junkroski.
Gazing into the Manger, help Part III
Scripture: But Mary treasured all these things, recipe pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:19,20 (NASB)
Thought for the Day: This Christmas season more than any other in my life, I keep feeling drawn to the manger. I’ve had several sleepless nights contemplating the manger – not the broader Christmas story, but focusing on the manger in particular. I have felt shrouded by the intense light emanating from where Christ lay, and I have also seen the manger dark and empty. I’d never thought of the manger that way before. The dark and empty manger was a little disconcerting at first, but then led me to a different train of thought. The light of God’s love is there whether we’re looking into a glowing manger or into emptiness. It’s there when we’re on the holiday high of the season, or feeling melancholy; in the face of loneliness, in the loss of a loved one, devastation, oppression; every time we wake up greeting the morning enthusiastically or when we’re willing ourselves to put one foot in the front of the other to get through the day. It’s there in the face of uncertainty, in having to let go of the familiar and step into the unknown, in the birth of a child, in a wedding, in the courage to face another medical procedure, in caring for children, friends and strangers. The light is there because it’s alive in us.
At the heart of Christmas, gazing into the manger, we experience the humility and the power of God’s infinite love embodied in the Christ Child. We are forever transformed by the Light of the World. Long after the crèches and manger scenes have been packed away, the light still shines. The light is for everyone, while at the same time being the most personal gift that we will ever receive. Whether it’s shining brightly or a dim flicker, we carry the gift of God’s light into the world, renewed in us every time we gaze into the manger.
Prayer: God of infinite light, this Christmas, we gaze into the manger and are renewed. Your light is alive in us and through us! Hallelujah!