We had the great blessing of experiencing 'The Living Bethlehem' the other day.
Lots of people in line, everyone being pleasant, only saw one couple cheat and duck under the rope to get in before their turn. There's always someone who does that sort of thing, so we just chuckled.
The Angels rising from the roof of the building were amazing, the Centurions and Census takers were funny, the Shepherds were great. And of course, there was Mary and Joseph and the baby.
Ah, yes, the baby in the manger. What a wonderful, marvelous experience. God with us, Our Savior willing to become human, God's Son come to redeem us. And even more amazing to me is that God was in a manger. A manger! Could have been the Hilton or the Marriot but instead God chose a manger.
Like you, I've heard the sermons about God humbling himself, about the Shepherds and the Kings all in one place. God as the great Equalizer. I love all those sermons and how imminent God is. And...what struck me as I stared at the baby in the manger was the idea that this was God in the midst of His creation.
Cows, sheep, camels, straw, wood. All the things of God's natural world. No polished marble or stainless steel or stuffed padded beds. No, just God and a bed of straw. With cattle lowing and sheep baaaing and camels doing whatever camels do. Chickens, geese, ducks and whatever else was in that stable.
I often marvel at the world around me and the amazing things that God has created in our world. I chuckle when a spice is suddenly discovered to be medically beneficial or an herb suddenly has medicinal properties we didn't know about. Even leaches are making a come back. (Don't ask!)
So, this next year we will explore the amazing things that God has put into our world. The fantastical creations we share this planet with.
Merry Christmas and in the New Year may God bless you with miracles in your everyday living. May God reveal something amazing and fantastic to surprise you daily. May God give you the opportunity to stand in awe of His creation just as He did on that day so very many years ago when He chose to be born in a manger.
Susan J Donetti
Lives in Northern California with her husband, two dogs, three cats and one horse.