The Travail Brings Us to the Manger


Today’s message from God Calling – A.J. Russell, reminds us that Jesus was first worshiped as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a lowly manger; a stable for animals.  The message admonishes us that the worship of the humility must be our first call.  John 1:14 is referenced: And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only begotten son, who came from the Father, full of truth and grace.

When I read the message, I think about Mary’s travail.  The long journey, the discomfort, the anxiety that threatened when they couldn’t find a place to bed down, and the labor pains during all of it.  Labor, especially with a first child, is not a “let’s get her done during this commercial,” thing.  I was in labor with my first child for 39 hours. Then comes the exertion and exhaustion of pushing that baby through the birth canal.  But in an instant you have this beautiful little creature, this gift from God; and everyone is exulting and adoring this little one.  And Jesus was lying in a manger, in a stable.  We always see a few animals in there with the family, don’t we?

Can you imagine the sense of disappointment, maybe almost a kind of shame or guilt you might feel over that?  Parents of the Savior of the world, and you can’t come up with better accommodations?  Can you imagine how humbled you might be by the long trip, the labor, the birth-they’re messy…and to even have to go be counted like some animal in the first place, by your oppressors.  Roman rule was pretty oppressive, even brutal. All of that is travail.  All that travail, leads right to the manger…the glory in the humility of it all; the glory.

That’s the first call to every believer, I believe.  I remember exactly how betrayed and wounded, and humbled by my circumstances, my life, and my pain, -my travail was when I first met Jesus.  I rediscovered a powerful truth when I read this message again today.  Jesus, baby Jesus, is that helpless human child (you and me) that needs to be rescued by a God whose heart, whose love is so big, that He would put himself in our place-literally, in the flesh, and die to save us.  There’s a powerful revelation about loving yourself in that statement.  There’s a powerful testimony about how precious and how wonderful you are in that statement.  Take it to heart this Christmas, and promise to be better to yourself; God’s good to us-we need to be good to us too.

Love you from Cafe du Mondieu                                                                                                Copyright by Marina Morrison (aka) Eden Stillwater, December 23, 2018, 3:00 p.m.



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