Posted by Andy Jacob

December 19, 2013
The manger is not a fishbowl.  It is not given so that we might sit safely and comfortably on the outside looking in.  On Christmas Eve we are called not to be spectators; we are called to be participants.  We celebrate the nativity each year so that we might take part in the birth of God’s light and love of God in the world – our world.If you are reading this on Friday, there are five days before we gather to hear the story of the birth of our Savior.  This week I offer a five-part spiritual devotion in the spirit of talking part in the manger drama.

I invite you to read the story that we will share Tuesday evening, Luke 2:1-20 (click here to read).  I invite you to read it not just once, but once each day for the next five days.

On day one put yourself in the place of the manager of the Bethlehem Inn that had no room for Mary and Joseph.  Imagine what it would feel like to say “no” to their request to stay.  Then imagine how it would feel a few days later when you hear the news about the nature of the child you had denied.

On day two marvel with the shepherds when angels come out of nowhere to tell – and sing – to you of the unbelievable.  Then imagine going and telling the world what you have seen as a witness to this child’s birth.

On day three imagine you were a messenger of God – an angel.  Try and feel the joy, if not the pressure, of telling unsuspecting people about the power and presence of God that is to come.

On day four put yourself in Joseph’s shoes.  Live into the fear, anxiety, confusion – and yet the hope – of what you had been told in a dream is happening.

On day five attempt the impossible.  Imagine being Mary.  In whatever way you can, imagine what it would be like to give birth to the light of the world.

The Christmas event challenges our imagination no less than it calls upon it.  May God bless our minds and spirits in these coming days; that we would enter into the challenge, and accept the call, to be full and faithful participants in God’s greatest act of love.


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