Away In A Manger
By Kevin Herrin
Away in a manger. Not in the big city. Away… in a barn. It should have been in a palace. It should have been in a king’s chambers. He was a descendant of King David, after all. He would become known as the King of all kings, as a matter of fact. But, no – it was away…in a manger. Not in a mansion, not in a castle, not in a luxury hotel, not even in a house. There was no room for Him in the Inn. No…a cave, a stable, a feeding trough filled with hay – away… in a manger.
Symbolic it was. Symbolic of the distance between God and us. Away. The God who made mankind for fellowship with Him. The God who walked with Adam in the cool of the day – now separated from His creation by sin and rebellion. He would not – He could not touch sin as the perfect Sovereign. A gap lay between them. Who would bridge the canyon between God and man? Separated. Away from God. Blocked. Inprisoned. Walled out. Away from God because of sin. Away.
And so God would take on flesh and become a man, but how?
A baby, you said?
A seed planted in the womb of a teenage girl…by the Holy Spirit? Come on.
Born where? Away…in a manger.
Not in the focal point of all society. Not in the who’s who of births that day. Only lowly shepherds would come. His birth wouldn’t even register on the social scene for about another year, when wise men from the east would come searching for the prophesied King of the Jews.
Could it be? The Messiah had come? Emmanuel? God with us! Imagine that! God in a manger! The separated Sovereign – the away God – come near…in a manger.
Could it be that this Baby, away in a manger, would be A WAY in a manger?
A way through sin? A way through darkness for humanity? A way past depression? A way past fear? A way past sickness and disease? A way past divorce? A way past suicide? A way past hell? A way past Satan? A way past our past?
God came near. The cast of Christmas looked into the eyes of the Babe away in a manger, but would eventually realize they had been looking at a way in the manger. This Baby would grow up and be the very One who would declare to His disciples, “ I AM the Way.”
Whatever form sin has taken in your life by way of a separating wall of awayness from God, I encourage you to look again at the Baby in the manger. He is the Way. You have been given direct access through the darkness, back to God, through a Way in a manger.
(Special thanks to my friend, Marty Varnell, for the inspiration for this thought.)