I Saw this on Instagram from George's Farmers Market (one day I am going to make it over there by the way!) I took a screenshot of it and as the last couple of days it just kind of stuck in my mind. I couldn't think of why until the other night after the Resident and Family Christmas ball. It just suddenly struck me....for all those years the Jews and so many expected the Messiah. They waited. They hoped and they anticipated. And He came but no one seemed ready. I am sure Mary and Joseph as new parents didn't feel ready. Even after all those months of waiting and preparing after the Angel's announcements to them. The sheperds probably didn't see it coming. The wise men, well...they I'm thinking might have been ready after their travel and planning.
The empty manger. I can't help but think that in our nativity mindset, that manger wasn't just sitting there waiting like an empty bassinet at the hospital, empty cribs awaiting a baby to come home. That manger was with animals and hay and who knows what. But that is where He came, Baby Jesus laid in a manger.
And so many people missed it. There were not announcements made on CNN, on Twitter or Facebook. Some angels announcing it to the sheperds but that was it. And for 30ish years Jesus did his thing and grew into a man, worked and prepared for his 3 years of ministry, His death and His resurrection. Even in those 3 years there was word of mouth of miracles, wonder and even anger. Word spread, scripture was written, history made.
And even in that, people missed it.
It makes me so incredibly grateful to be on this side of the Nativity and the Cross. To hold and read my bible and just be overwhelmed with the knowledge of Love, Grace, and Truth. To have the opportunity to prepare my heart for the Christmas season as we celebrate Christ. May I carry that with me daily and seek to reach those who have still missed it. The arrival of the Messiah, and let them know what the true, deep, life changing meaning of Christmas really is.
May we indeed prepare room in our hearts, our crowded days, this Christmas and New Year season to see Christ, the Father who loves, us, and the Holy Spirit who is so sweetly strong and kind to us in the Grace, Love and Mercy of our Forgiving Holy Trinity.
I'm thankful for sweet baby Jesus who was laid in a manger to save us all.