14 Dec Stonework
During our current sermon series, we have been journeying together to the manger. We have looked at what coming to Jesus looked like that first Christmas so we can better understand what coming to Jesus looks like for us. We started with the wise men, and last week we looked at the shepherds. This week, we are looking at Mary, the mother of Jesus, and what her faithfulness can tell us about our journey.
From the very beginning of His life, Jesus was on a journey. On this side of His story, we know Jesus came to teach us about God and to sacrifice Himself for us. He was born with a purpose and a task that no one else could ever fulfill. If we think about Jesus, we realize His story began and ended in a similar way.
In Sunday’s message, I referred to a devotional by Adam Hamilton. One of the many interesting aspects to the Christmas story he shares is about the manger itself. So often, the manger has been shown as a wooden trough, but this isn’t accurate.
In Jesus’ day, wood was not readily available, and wood was probably not something to waste on a trough to feed animals. Hamilton shares that it is more than likely that the manger was made out of stone with much of the archeological evidence supporting this opinion. While this fact doesn’t really change the beginning of Jesus’ story, it does connect with the ending.
Jesus is referred to as the “Bread of Heaven” in Scripture. That truth certainly supports the idea that when that promised Messiah came into the world, He should be placed in a trough. A trough is for food, and Jesus even described the Last Supper as a dinner with His body and blood as the only menu items that mattered. Jesus was not confused about why He came and neither should we.
Jesus started His journey in a stone trough, and His life ended in a stone tomb. But the story didn’t end there. That stone tomb couldn’t hold him. Jesus couldn’t be contained by the limitations of this world.
This Christmas, let’s think about the purpose of Jesus. Every time we see a manger, may we be reminded of the stone tomb. The Savior of the world started His journey in the humblest of ways, but He ended it in a supernatural way. That’s our Christmas journey: starting off separated from God but finding our way to His presence forever through Jesus. It is truly a miracle, and something I hope we can all celebrate this year.
Blessings to you,