Back to the Manger

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light: those who dwelt in the land of intense darkness and the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined…For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9: 2, 6

Father, we pray that You would use Deeper Still to help those who have been in darkness to see Your great Light.  We pray for You to use Deeper Still in the lands of intense darkness to shine Your Light.  We thank you for Your precious Son, Jesus, the Light of the world, our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel. Amen. 

My kids were in a Christmas musical at church last weekend called, “Back to the Manger”.  It was humorous time travel skit reminiscent of the 1980’s hit movie “Back to the Future”.  We need to go back to the manger.  If it wasn’t for the Babe in the manger that night long ago, this world would be nothing but darkness.

 I want to mentally take us back to the manger that first Christmas long ago to a time before Christmas trees, before Santa Claus, before stockings hung by the fire.  There were no Christmas lights.  In fact, there were no lights at all.  It was dark.  The only illumination lay in the sprinkling of the stars and hints of moonlight.  How ironic that the Light of the world was born in darkness.  Or is it?

“And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7

A familiar verse.   But, I want to unwrap this verse for a moment and perhaps discover something unfamiliar under the paper.

Swaddling clothes.  Mary wrapped her newborn child, the Savior of the World in swaddling clothes.

To swaddle means to restrain or restrict.  Swaddling clothes are meant to impose limitations or restrictions in movement.  

Do you ever feel restricted?  Do you ever feel restrained or limited?  In bonds?  Could it be that in the middle of the dark, that even in the manger, Jesus was experiencing limitations in human form?

From the moment Jesus was born into this world, He emptied Himself, by taking on the form of a servant and was born in the likeness of men.  He would become the great high priest that could sympathize with our weaknesses.  Even from the manger wrapped in restriction the promise was released that one day this baby would pay the highest price possible so that we could live free and unhindered by our sin.

And there was no room for him in the inn.  Really?  Seriously if God wanted to He would have logged onto Travelocity or and found them a room faster than a millisecond.

God had reason in the rejection.   Rejection is always wrapped with reason.

Let’s go back to the manger again.   Are you there with me?  Are you mentally at the stable, in the dark?

Hay is crunching.  The bellow of sheep and cows play on the surround sound.  The night air fragrant with barn animals.  A man and his wife cuddle together while she gives birth to a Son.

That night in the dark, God birthed new Life.  Out of darkness, came the Light of the world.

Can I suggest that birthing new life out of darkness is not unfamiliar to our God?  He oftentimes births new life in dark places.   The Lord brought forth Jesus, our Savior, in utter darkness to give us Light.

If we read further in Luke, we come to Luke 23, where Jesus was once again laid in darkness.  This time it was not after His birth, but after His death.   Everything looked hopeless.  Jesus was dead.  He was laid in a tomb. A stone was rolled in place.  Sealed in darkness.   Until…

The darkness was transformed into glory!  Jesus was alive!  God birthed new Life again out of the darkness.

If you are in the dark today, I want to encourage you.  God births new life out of the darkness.  With Jesus,  death is never an end, it is an opening for a new beginning.  Your manger may be dark, but God is birthing NEW LIFE in it!  Run to Him and let Him take off those swaddling clothes and show you the new life He is bringing you!  He transforms darkness into glory.

Your abortion doesn’t have to define you.

It’s time to find the freedom you deserve.