Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reflective Wednesday

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head....

This is my manger scene. I wake up looking at it each morning leading up to Christmas.

It's small.  Includes only the basics: Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and a couple sheep.  The angel is my addition.

Nothing fancy about it.

For me however, it has extra special meaning.  For it was a gift, given to me on a missionary trip to Slovakia in 1998.

Not just any trip, but the trip.  The place in this girl's story where the light of the sun got covered in darkness.

She sat before me in the little cafe, "Here is a gift."

I opened the simple manger scene.

"Thank you."

An internal exile began for me that summer.  It was a journey I did not want to take.  Traveling into a desolate land. The dung filled, lowly places of my heart glaringly apparent.  Places long covered over.

I wondered, "Is there any room for me?" A weary traveler, wrestling in the dark night sky of my heart.

There the manger beckons, "There is room for you here."

Jesus, quietly making his entrance.  No pomp and circumstance.  He comes.

"Beloved, this is where I choose to enter."

Such a lowly place.

Fourteen years of putting this manger scene up each Christmas, I look on it in holy wonder.

Still awed.

Awed that he still chooses to come. Again and again. To make His appearance, display His splendor in the lowly places.  The manger of my heart. Never what you'd expect from a King.

Emmanuel, God with us. Coming where you'd least expect.

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