THEY LAID HIM IN A MANGER



Bible Reading: Luke 2:1-20

Text verse 7:
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Many a beautiful painting has been painted of the Christmas Nativity Scene.
They laid HIM in a Manger !
It seems so picturesque - So romantic !
But Jesus did not belong there.

Joseph asked the Innkeeper for a room at the Inn telling them that His wife was about to give birth,
BUT the door was closed against them as they were directed to a crude stable
and when Jesus was born they laid HIM in a manger.

A Manger is the Feeding trough for farm animals and is found in a Stable.
A Farm Stable smells and is not the cleanest of places
BUT Jesus the Kings of Kings, the Son of the Almighty Lord,
the Messiah was born in a Stable and they laid Him in a manger because
there was no room for Him in the Inn !

Two thousand years ago - Jesus was born in a Stable
and they laid HIM in a manger because
there was no room for HIM in the Inn !

The Reason there was no room for him in the Inn was because:

Luke 2:1-5
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar
Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,
into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.


Every man unto his own City - Now Joseph was of the house and linage of David.
The House of David was surely the most important and powerful family in Israel !
The little town of Bethlehem must have been bursting at its seams with important people
- two thousand years ago.
All relatives -close and distant of Mary and Joseph !
But all these important relatives meant only one thing to poor Joseph and Mary
- There was no room at the Inn for them.

Luke 2:6-7
And so it was, that, while they were there,
the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.


NOW - Two thousand years later we celebrate His birth
- Something we need to remember that without CHRIST -
Christmas - would have remained just another ordinary day.
Jesus made Christmas
- Without HIM there would be no Christmas Day to celebrate !

Bethehlem was crowded to capacity with Friends and family
- All the leading and important members of the House of David
were in Bethehlem.
But Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger
because there was no room in the Inn.

Crowded out of the Inn by family and friends !
Just so today Jesus is crowded out of our homes and lives
and the very day that was meant to celebrate HIS birthday.

Our Christmas Dinners are attended by family and friends.
Our homes are filled with Christmas Treats and presents.
Crowded with family and friends.
We find ourselves on crowded beaches and sitting in crowded Hotel lounges for dinner.
Where is Jesus - the One who day it is ?
- Crowded out !
Forgottened in the days prior to Christmas in our rush to find suitable presents
for everyone that matters to us in the crowded shopping Malls.
Forgotten in our rush to prepare a feast for friends and our preparations
to celebrate Christmas !

Friend donít crowd Jesus out of your Christmas -
remember and I want to stress this one important
fact without Him there can be no real Christmas.

The Shepherds sought HIM - and where did they find HIM ?

Luke 2:16
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.


They laid HIM in a manger because there was no room for HIM in the Inn !

Later Wise men from the East sought HIM so that they could worship HIM !
Wise men still seek HIM today !

Friend, Will Christ be crowded out of your Christmas or will you seek Him ?

Two thousand years ago they found Him in a stable lying in a Manger
because there was no room for HIM in the Inn !

The way to celebrate Christmas is not with crowded parties
but rather with fellow Christians in Worship.

Where can Jesus be found, today ?
Listen what the Word of God says:

Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.


Make room for Jesus this Christmas by taking time to worship HIM.
Like the Wise Men ! Like the Shepherds !
By visiting a place of Worship this Christmas -
You will be showing the World that you have room for Jesus in your life !

IN CLOSING
In closing it must be added that no one knows the exact date of the birth of Jesus.
Why then does the Church celebrate Christmas in December ?
I know that Pagan Customs have crowded Christ out of Christmas
as celebrated by most people today
- BUT note very carefully that for us without Christ there can be no Christmas.

Why, December - In the Northern Hemisphere -
December is the darkest of all the months of the year - It is the darkest time of the year !

When we experience the the Darkest moments of our life
- Jesus is there not only to bring Light but Hope.
Just as the darkest night must flee before the rising sun.
So Christ cause light to shine we we find ourselves in darkest and despair.

They message of Christmas is found in the message given to Mary by the Angel Gabriel:

Luke 1:30-34
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:
and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?


And then Gabriel said:
Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.


Friend, listen to the Word of God:
Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.


The Afrikaans Lewende Bybel says:
Thick dark places (Pitch dark places)

This Christmas we have a promise:
With God all things are possible !

Please, Donít crowd Jesus out of your Christmas this year !
Trust Him for that healing
Trust Him for that miracle that you need !


Amen

Pastor CSJ Claassen
PO Box 99
Welkom
9460 SOUTH AFRICA

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