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 2:7)
This was Jesus' introduction to the world: being wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Mary must have brought the swaddling clothes along on their journey from Nazareth, carefully packed against the day she would need them. The manger, on the other hand, was a last-minute thing—a stand-in for the cradle they didn't have, far from home as they were.
Both items were necessary. Swaddling clothes kept the baby warm and made sure He would grow up with straight, strong limbs, according to the thinking of the day. The manger kept Jesus safely off the ground, where He might be stepped on or bitten by rats.
It didn't look like much—some cloth strips and an animals' feeding box. But it was the best Mary and Joseph could do for the baby they loved. And to human eyes, Jesus Himself didn't look like much—but He was the very best God could do for us, the people He loved.
A tiny baby—this is God's way of rescuing the world? Yes. Because this baby would grow up as the Man Jesus Christ, who is God Himself living among us. Jesus spent His life caring, teaching, healing, helping—and then lay down His life for our sakes, in order to break the power of evil over us and all the world. When He rose from the dead, He broke the power of death, and now everyone who trusts in Him will live forever.
See how much God loves us!
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Jesus, Your Son. Amen.
* Tell about a time you didn't have something you needed, and had to improvise.
* How do people in your family or among your friends prepare for the birth of a baby?
* What is the best thing, besides Jesus, God has given you? (There might be several best things.)
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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