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Miracle at the manger

A manger with star

Inspired by a poem by Andy Vorbrich about the magic of Christmas, the Rev. John Boley adds his thoughts and thanks God for the Manger of Bethlehem, a miraculous thing.


JOHN BOLEY

Clergy Assistant, Michigan Conference 

Preparations

Christmas Lights
and decorations.
Trips to the attic, again and again.
Should the nativity set go here or there?
Shopping for food and things.
Scheduling the visitor.
Laundry.
Tests to take and worry about.
Place reservations to secure.
Who will sleep where?
It’s my favorite time of the year.
With all the preparation, or none at all,
magic happens.

                                      by Andy Vorbrich

I would like to take the liberty of revising Andy’s poem by adding  “miracle” to “magic.”  “With all the preparation or none at all, magic and miracle happen.”  

And I would like to expound by adding another  “M” to the equation – to say that one of the great miracles of Christmas is the Manger of Jesus.

You see, the Manger of Bethlehem was and is a miraculous thing; it is the smallest of things, and the largest of things. 

It is so small that it barely holds a baby infant, and yet it is so large that it can hold the Messiah of the world.

It is so small that it cannot hold arrogant pride, but it is large enough to hold self-respect;

It is so small that it cannot hold self-righteousness, but it is large enough to hold righteousness;

It is so small that it cannot hold human power and prestige, but it is large enough to hold sacrificial service;

It is so small that it cannot hold the baggage of past sins, but it is large enough to hold forgiveness and life-long learning from our mistakes;

You see, this Manger of Bethlehem is a miraculous thing …

It is so small that it cannot hold prejudice and bigotry, but it is large enough to hold loving tolerance;

It is so small that it cannot hold jingoistic national pride, but it is large enough to hold love of country in Thanksgiving;

It is so small that it cannot hold greed, but it is large enough to hold generosity;

It is so small that it cannot hold bitterness, but it is large enough to hold thankfulness and understanding;

It is so small that it cannot hold despair, but it is large enough to hold hope;

You see, this Manger of Bethlehem is a miraculous thing …

It is so small that it cannot hold cynicism, but it is large enough to hold trust;

It is so small that it cannot hold hedonism, but it is large enough to hold joy;

It is so small that it cannot hold vengeance, but it is large enough to hold forgiveness;

It is so small that it cannot hold violence, but it is large enough to hold peace and understanding;

It is so small that it cannot hold hatred, but it is large enough to hold love;

It is so small that it cannot hold death, but it is large enough to hold salvation.

Thanks be to God for the Magic and the Miracle of the Manger of Bethlehem.