"And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger." (Luke 2:16).
The parents were aglow with pride and joy as their children lined the choir loft and prepared to sing before the church. There was little Bobby picking his nose, pretty Becky primping her hair, dutiful John standing at attention, bored Nancy rolling her eyes, clueless Billy scratching a persistent itch, and little Mary Lou adoringly focused on Mrs. Parker, the children's choir director.
In what can only be appreciated by a mother, the youngsters join their voices together in several different keys, and offer their best rendering of the beloved traditional Christmas song....
"Away in a Manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head; the stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay. The cattle are lowing the baby awakes, the little Lord Jesus no crying He makes....oh, well, you know how it goes.
There is something here that is soft, safe and sweet – the Baby Jesus. Something serene, composed, and peaceful. It’s enough to make us say, “Oh, isn’t that precious.”
But He is more than this. The angels said to the shepherds, "Unto you is born this day in the house of David, a Savior -- who is Christ the Lord." The Baby became a Man; the Man is both Lord and Christ.
Is it possible some may prefer to keep Him away, rather than near; in a manger, rather than on a throne?
They say Christmas is for children, and there is a lot of truth in that. But Christ is for all ages. And while we may delight in the innocence with which our kids sing the sweet chorus, "Away in a Manger" -- let's make sure that that is not where we leave Him.
By the way, Merry Christmas!