Manger Christmas

manger christmas

Nativity plays never give justice to the hardship of being pregnant at the verge of delivery while one is on top of a donkey traveling for miles. The back pain, the dizziness and vomiting, the heat of the desert, the cold of the night. Since Mary was not lying down while traveling to Bethlehem, her feet must be so heavy with edema, a common swelling condition of the feet and legs among pregnant women.

Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take part in the required Jewish census. Developed real estate properties must be scarce at that time because the tired couple couldn’t find a decent room to lay their heads. The manger was the next best thing. But how we wish our Property Management Team Martha. at Goshen Land was already operating at that time so that Jael, our Martha. head would have reserved a unit for them from our Leasing Department. But no one could dictate on God’s sovereign plan.

With no semblance of anything antiseptic nor royal, Jesus, The King of Kings was born in the midst of squalid conditions. No paparazzi trying to gain access for the first photo opportunity nor a royal baby watch uploaded in the net every nanosecond. The clean manger nativity plays portray is too far fetched from the reality of a manger, a shack for animals. The plays fail to show that in a manger, animal poop and urine abound intensifying the odorous smell animals emit. Animal fodder is strewn all about as most animals eat even at night.Without a coterie,

Without a coterie, ob-gyne doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, pediatricians, interns, and assistants befitting royalty, the son of God was born where animals sleep and poop. Even before the angels broke out in a heavenly chorus of Glory to God in the highest before shepherds, animals already saw how Jesus was delivered normally, not C-section! Thank God.

Whether rich or poor, babies born in hospitals get bathed immediately and their umbilical cords cut off in an antiseptic environment. Mothers are also given post natal care. But the Bible is silent about these procedures. Instead, the book of Luke reports that after Jesus was born, he was wrapped in strips of cloth in the manger, not in some well-scrubbed nursery. Wise men from the East came to worship Him. “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We have seen His star as it arose and we have come to worship Him.” When they found where he was through the star, the Bible says these wise men from eastern lands were filled with great joy and they fell down before the child and worshiped Him. Then they gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Around this time however, King Herod of Bethlehem got wind of the news. Not wanting to be edged out of his throne mistakenly thinking Jesus is another politician soon to grab power away from him, he ordered the murder of all boys in Bethlehem ages two years and below. But Jesus escaped the murder as an angel advised Joseph in a dream to hide his family in Egypt till Herod died.

Jesus’ birth was so much unlike the frenzied, material-obsessed, food laden, sale intensified, self-focused December Christmas we are so familiar with today that ends up with stressed nerves and wallets. Knowing and understanding the ancient, manger Christmas centered on the humble birth and purpose of the King of Kings and The Lord of Lords make all the difference.*** –Annabelle Bangsoy

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