Advent Reflection for December 10, 2021

Away in a Manger

Luke 2: 6 &7

“While they were there (Mary & Joseph in Bethlehem), the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.


I have many memories of growing up on our family farm in Mornington Township. We had a barn filled with cattle, horses, pigs, ducks, chickens and a few dogs and cats. There was an old fashioned bank barn with livestock on the ground level and the upstairs filled with hay, straw and grain. We fed the animals each morning and night. I can clearly visualize going to the barn to do the chores after school during December.


It was dark by the time we headed to the barn. But as soon as the lights were turned on in the barn, all the animals made lots of noise as they knew they were soon going to be fed. The magical part was that as soon as they were fed and given fresh bedding, the barn became so quiet, the cattle and horses were quietly eating hay and it was so peaceful. You could hear the soft rustling of the straw as the animals shifted around the barn. This quiet peacefulness is what I think about when Jesus was wrapped in clothes and placed in a manger.


It may seem to many that putting a baby in a manger would be cruel and inhumane, but to me, the manger would be warm, quiet, safe and very comforting. The animals would have been so gentle and very curious about what was happening. They would not harm anything or anyone.


We could say it is wrong that Jesus was born in a stable, but we have to remember, Jesus’ birth was choreographed by God. He chose when and where Jesus would be born. The timing was not an accident. It was a very humble start for this King of Kings.


One thing I am confident in is that the manger would have been a very peaceful place. Peaceful means “full of peace”. I pray that each of you will have a blessed advent season that is “Full of Peace”, in the same way that our Saviour came into our world.


Written by Bill Dunbar