This is the last reflection in a series of teaching tools used by our author, Martha, at her congregation during Advent. What does it teach you?
King: The baby sleeping in the hay has come to earth in the humblest of surroundings: There is no room for him in any inn, and so he is laid in a manger. What a contrast to the surroundings of an earthly newborn king, and how much vaster a contrast to the glory and majesty of heaven, which he has chosen to leave! But Jesus – fully human and fully God – is born into contrasts. The contrast between the mortal and the divine is seen in the ones who make their way to the place where the infant is staying. First the shepherds come. Shepherds were at the bottom of the social scale in Israel, and they come in wonder, their eyes full of light and their ears filled with the song of angels. Then the wise men arrive – kings from the East who follow a star to find a greater king to worship. Surrounded by all the trappings of wealth they can transport in their caravan, they fall to their knees when they see the infant Jesus, and they offer him gifts: frankincense, which marks him as a priest; myrrh (a resin then used in embalming the dead), which marks him as a sacrifice; and gold, which marks him as a king. The love and joy of Christmas will come to all who approach the manger in humble wonder, eyes full of light and ears filled with song, and fall on their knees to offer him all that they have and all that they are and acknowledge him as Lord and King of all.
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