Monday, December 20, 2010

The Birth of Jesus

Yesterday our pastor reminded us that Jesus - God made flesh, came as a baby and was laid in a manger. We all have clean, cute little nativity sets which portray the happy baby laying in a baby-sized manger with clean hay and a holy- looking mother and father. Pastor Jonathan made me rethink this picture. The manger is the only thing we are told about where Jesus was born - we don't know that there was a stable. The manger could have been out in a field or behind the inn where the animals came to eat .. have you ever been on a farm? My husband and I spend years working on his parent's farm and we had sheep and a goat and chickens. Animals stink. The slobber as they eat the hay or food or water. They poop -everywhere. I loved working with the sheep because the smell of lanolin was so comforting in some way - and I loved to feed the animals. BUT - I would not have wanted to put a newborn baby in their feeding area. I would not want to be in pain laying their giving birth to a baby. Mary and Joseph had just been on a long journey. They were probably very tired and dusty from traveling. I am sure they wanted a different place to give birth to the baby - and a different bed to lay the baby in after he was born. But God in His all-powerful, and all-knowing nature knew that in bringing His Son into this world in the most humble and poor setting would show the whole world that He came to partake in human suffering and that He came to serve not to be served.

Wherever God has put you this Christmas season, take the opportunity to spend time thinking about the birth of Jesus. He came and He suffered so that we would have a High Priest who could sympathize with our sufferings. He came and took part in the most physical pain immaginable with His death on the cross. No matter what pain you have today - Jesus can sympathize with you. No matter how desperate your situation, or how poor, or how humble your dwelling - God sent His own Son to the most lowly dwelling of all in that humble manger bed.

He is the God who understands suffering. Turn to Him with your pain today.


  1. ali, thanks for the shout-out and the great synthesis of the Christmas story... that our Great God put on the frailty of human flesh and came to suffer and die for us so that we might be fully and finally healed one day with Him. He is the Gospel!

  2. Hey Ali, my name is Sandra. I read several blogs on religion and prayer and I've i feel like I've ended up here once before. I ran across this prayer exchange website and I haven't had the chance to ask my Church what their stance is on it.

    I'm a bit confused, I think that there are some benefits to a site like this but some Christians might find it questionable.

    The website is

    If you're looking for a topic to blog about, I would be curious to hear your thoughts and know what your stance is on this type of prayer service.

    I have your blog in my feed reader so i'll check back, God bless
    Sandra J.

  3. Thank you Pastor Jonathan for making me think about the details of that very special day, and the encouragment to be full of compassion during this Christmas season! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  4. Hi Sandra - somehow your comment was sent to a separate folder so I am not sure why but I recently did get it when looking through folders on my blog. I looked up the site that you mentioned. To be honest my first thought was the old time of "bying indulgences" and paying for the souls of others when they had died - the church used to make a lot of money off of this and I am concerned that this prayer website may be falling into that catergory as they claim that when you pay there will be many praying for you and that seems to be preying off of need rather than offering to pray through love. So my take is that is is dangerous at worst and mis-led at best. I am not against prayer groups but making people pay to get their prayer prayed for seems to be profitting from the need of others and their despirate situations. I may blog on this at some point but thought you deserved an answer to your question. I would also be interested to see what Pastor Jonathan thinks on this. You could maybe send him a message as well. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!