- by Liz Folland, Missionary, Sydney
One of my favorite hymns is Away in a Manger...
“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky look down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”
Those words paint such a picture for me of that first Christmas. In a bed borrowed from cattle and sheep, lit by the borrowed light of a starry night, with a family resting in a cave borrowed from an innkeeper or shepherds; the Saviour of the world was born.
What a humble, simple beginning for anyone, but especially for a king.
And He lived His whole earthly days in the same way. He stayed in other people’s homes, ate their food and even rode in triumphantly on a donkey that was borrowed. He didn’t worry about being dressed in the latest clothes or accumulating the fanciest jars, wine, or whatever material status items of the day. He lived his life humbly, gratefully, simply, sacrificially and totally surrendered to God’s great plan. His days here on earth have left such an example and testimony to all of us.
As I reflect on his life, during this season that celebrates His birth, I can’t but help ask myself some questions:
- How do I complicate this time of year? Am I more concern about finding that perfect gift for my husband more than thinking about what gift I can give my Saviour for His birthday?
- How can I show his simple, sacrificial love to all those around me during this busy season? That includes all those who are driving on the busy roads and beating me to that last perfect gift on the shelf.
- Do I live my life humbly, totally surrendered to God’s plan for me? Even when His plan for me means taking a backseat to His plans for others around me?
I trust we can take a moment to slow down this Christmas and just take the time to reflect and thank Him for all the blessings in your life, whether borrowed or given; whether planned or surprised; whether desired or persevered.
As we ponder these things, ask the Lord to show you someone that needs change in their life then humbly, sacrificially, be that needed blessing to them... this could be your gift to Jesus this Christmas.