While they were there (in Bethlehem), the time came for her (Mary, who was with child) to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2, 6 – 7

What we refer to as the manger or the crib, was in those times, used as a feeding trough for the animals. In those times stables were often caves with feeding troughs carved into the rock wall. The surroundings and the interior of the stables were not necessarily clean and it could have been a bit dark. It did not have the comfort like in the inn. For the Jews it would have been totally unacceptable to expect of the birthplace of the expected Messiah to be dark and dirty. They could only visualize the Messiah to be born in royal surroundings and save them from their oppressors with might and destructive weapons.

God became man in Jesus Christ and came down to that which was his own not to point a finger at us for having disobeyed God and thereby bringing darkness and dirt into our lives. Jesus Christ came to serve us in all humbleness with his unconditional love and unconditional acceptance. Every person is precious to God so much so that Jesus Christ took our place on the cross in our stead to pay for our sins by giving his own life in our stead.

That was not a dead-end but a new beginning. Three days after Jesus dies for us on the cross an angel brought the message: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Math. 28,5). No dead-end, but eternal life. Crib – Cross – Crown. All this because our Lord Jesus Christ embraces us with his unconditional love. What does the picture above say to you?

E. Fröhling