And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger …
A manger. Not a place for a king, a prince, or anyone of worldly standing. In was a rough cut box made of stone or wood that was used to feed animals. When I was growing up, I watched my Dad build one from scrap wood to use as a feeder for our sheep. It was rough and the wood was splintery. I had to be careful at feeding time because the sheep would knock me over to get to the hay and corn I fed to them. It wasn’t pretty in the least, but it was sturdy and did the job well.
The manger St. Luke rights about was probably much the same. Not much to look at and certainly no place to be the son of a King. But this manger held the Son of God. God in flesh, from the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This trough became the place for the miracle of the Incarnation.
In due time, the roughness of the manger would be exchanged for the roughness of a Roman cross. We dare not forget that the beauty of Christmas are but the first steps on a path marked out for our Lord Jesus. It will lead to Heaven, but first He will endure the hell of the cross. It will lead to honor, but only through shame; to victory, but only through defeat; to life but only through death.
The baby in the straw we worship is our only Savior. With greatest adoration we come together to worship, praise, serve, thank, and obey with all our hearts.See the Lord Christ and rejoice!All is made right through Him of whom the angels sing.
Come to the manger.Come to the cross and behold love profound beyond words.
Come to Holy Cross – Jesus is here – for you!
Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Jeffrey Stone
Proverbs3 Verses 5 to 6.  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us... Hebrews 12:1