Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
Our Creator became one of the guys just for us. He is God, but he is not beyond knowing because—he was born as a human and lay in a manger!
Where was the manger?
In our western minds, the word manger conjures up the image of a stable or barn, but in Middle Eastern villages this wasn’t the case. Simple village homes in Palestine had 2 rooms—a guest room & a family living/cooking/eating/sleeping room. At one end of the Family Room was a lower area where animals were brought in at night. Mangers were dug into the floor at the end of the Family Room for the animals.
No room in the inn or a family guest room?
Luke is precise with his words. The Samaritan put his Jewish brother whom he rescued in an Inn, pandocheion (Luke 10). Jesus was born in a Guest Room, katalyma, in a peasant home. Matthew tells us that the Wise Men from the East found Jesus in a house in Bethlehem. (Matt. 2:10)
Why does it matter?
It was the manger that convinced the shepherds to go see this wonderful thing the angels had announced to them. They said, “Here’s yer sign: You’ll find the baby wrapped up (just like you, common peasants wrap up your newborns) and lying in a manger. Instantly they knew, Messiah wasn’t in a governor’s mansion or wealthy merchants guest room, he’s in a common two room house just like ours! And off they went.
“Ox and ass before him bow, for he is in the manger now.” But that manger was in a warm and friendly peasant’s home, not in a cold, lonely stable. That very fact, even the angels knew, would be “good news of great joy for all the people.”
Our Savior was born to common people and sheltered in a peasant home. Even shepherds were welcome at the Messiah’s manger. The unclean were considered clean. Outcasts were honored guests. The song of angels was sung to the simplest of all. The manger was theirsign!
If you’re looking for a Savior whom you don’t have to impress, who came for all people—the poor, the lowly, the rejected, the wise, and the wealthy—Jesus is your Savior. Let him do what he came to do—for you this Christmas.
Greeting: Merry Christmas, Our Savior is Born!
Response: He is born in a manger—for us all!