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"And all the gifts which God can give to those God creates, God has given to his son Jesus for us” —
Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 55 LT
I took this picture on my cell phone while walking through Atchison, KS, a couple of years ago.
I love that the manger is in an empty parking lot, out on a back loading dock with pealing red barn paint, gray steel grain elevators in the background. There is something paradoxical about it that makes it seem so out of place but yet, just in the right place. It was in a similar ordinary, working class place that Mary gave birth to the Son of God who was worshiped both by illiterate shepherds and wise foreign scholars.
My prayer for each of you this Christmas is that you know the joy of the birth of the Christ in your own, ordinary life. The hope of the Good News of the Gospel is that you are called to carry within you the life of the world, the Spirit of God’s own son. You are the manger, ordinary yet functional, but never imagined to cradle the Christ. You are the shepherds and the wise ones who drop everything to find the answer to their prayers--God who is among us.
Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.
And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.
The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.
His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—
He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,
Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 The Voice
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