For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The “sign” was not the star in the east. The sign was not the swaddling clothes. The sign was not the angel or the heavenly host praising God. The sign was the manger. Why do I say this? Well, we know that Jesus, the Messiah, could have come riding on a white stallion in all His royal garb for all the world to see. However, He chose to come in the form of a helpless baby and allow Himself to be laid in a manger. If you know anything about farming, you know that a manger is nothing more than a feeding trough! It is the wooden “bowl” that the farmer built to put the slop in so that the animals could come and eat. I remember when my family used to raise hogs, and we threw the corn, grain and table scraps in the feeding trough, and then watch the pigs rush to the trough, fighting over the food. Pigs love mud and being dirty. So can you imagine how nasty it looks to see all these muddy, dirty pigs rushing up to the trough? That is where the Creator of the universe allowed Himself to be laid. Such humility.
These are the kinds of things that I think of during the Christmas season. I do not concentrate so much on gifts, decorations, food, sales, etc. I think of my Lord coming to save a world that all but ignores Him. I think of Mary and Joseph with their precious baby Boy in a dark, smelly stable with all those animals, enduring the lowliest of accommodations while the world suffers very little lack. He did this for me, and I am humbled beyond words. In my mind, this is the true spirit of the Christmas season.