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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Poor Baby Jesus is cold...

....give him some swaddling clothes.

Did you ever notice in manger scenes that everyone has lots of clothes on except the poor baby. Mary wears a long gown with a mantle and veil. Joseph has on a long tunic and sometimes even a turban. The shepherds often are covered with nice warm fleeces in addition to their other clothing.

The only one exposed to the cold is poor Baby Jesus.

Now don't you think the first thing Mary would have done after the baby's birth was to wrap him up in those swaddling clothes the gospel talks about?
I used to swaddle my babies snuggly for weeks after birth. After being in the confined comfort of the
womb for all those months, they needed the comfort of feeling wrapped up.. Cocooned in a warm receiving blanket, they were completely covered except for their heads.

After looking at my manger scene for a day, I had to cover up baby Jesus in a blanket, because I couldn't bear to think of him shivering in the night.

Is there a deeper message here?

Jesus wasn't just physically cold. He also faced a cold reception from the people who should have been most eager to welcome him. When Herod called in the Jewish experts to advise him about the newborn king, they all knew the prophecies. They knew the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Did they hurry to seek and welcome him? No! And, in fact, they helped Herod with the information necessary to try to kill Him.

Who did give Him a warm welcome? The humble shepherds and the wise men from the East.

Isn't that a message for us? The humble and the spiritually wise are prepared to greet and welcome the Savior of the world. The rich and the proud reject him.

Perhaps a resolution for the new year could be to work on humility and wisdom, remembering that both require "fear of the Lord" in the sense of knowing our place before Him. He is God and we are not. He created the universe; without Him we create nothing but discord and destruction. He loves us without limit; we, for the most part, fail to love well even those we love the most.

Help us Lord Jesus. Without You we can do nothing. Lead us to the manger to learn from You what it means to be like You. And then give us the will to imitate You.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Thine.

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