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Wrapped in clothes, Lying in a Manger.

Rev. Enoch Thompson | December 25, 2023 | Luke 2:1-7



. . . she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (NIV)



Merry Christmas to you, as you draw closer to the throne of grace to feed your soul on this Christmas day.

Christmas remains a global celebration wherever the knowledge of Christ has reached on this planet. Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, sometimes even among non-Christian communities. Christmas may suffer from non-understanding, and the reduction of the celebration to commerce and eating and drinking. However, the core meaning and message of Christmas is not lost on countless millions who honour the memory of the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, whose birth is commemorated by Christmas.


Our reflection today is on the fact that when the Lord Jesus was born it was in uncomfortable circumstances, and yet He fulfilled His mission.


We live in uncomfortable times, at the local and global levels. Nations are in uproar; economies are shaking, and war is recurrent and intense. The ecological disaster of earthquakes, droughts and floods. Experts are talking about an upcoming worldwide food shortage.


The decree of Caesar Augustus required that all people go to their hometowns to be counted in a census that Rome wanted done. This put pressure on the transportation system and brought about a massive commotion as people moved across the Roman Empire. Hospitality services such as inns would be under extreme pressure as people left their home accommodations to travel to where their details could be taken for Rome. Joseph had to travel with Mary who was betrothed to him and was pregnant. Travelling at best on a donkey would have been a great challenge. The pang of birth is a crisis for any woman, but going through delivery in the hustle and bustle of this mass movement of people must have been an additional difficulty.


But the purposes of God cannot be stopped by the waves and storms of the circumstances of the actors in the plan of God. So, for Mary in Luke 2:7 (NIV) finally, “. . . she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” The special baby who was born in pressured circumstances experienced his own struggle after birth, he was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and he was placed in a manger, not a warm blanket in a comfortable cot.


Sometimes life places us in uncomfortable places, and we may blame our birth circumstances, parentage, nationality, national leadership, global economy etc. Let us remember that the baby Jesus did not have it easy to start with, and His journey was not easier either. But He stood for His purpose and achieved His objective of our salvation through His life and ministry.



Do you feel any pressure in your life and your circumstances? Do you see the storms and waves around you, and do you somehow feel that you may be prevented from being all that God wants you to be.?

Take heart, be determined. Rise from the swaddling clothes and the manger and trust the Lord Jesus Christ to help you attain your divine mission.



Dear Lord Jesus, you became man in very unpalatable circumstances, and yet you rose to show us the way to succeeding in the plans of God. Please, Lord, help me to rise above the limitations of my circumstances, and to become everything that that you intend for me and expect from me. I pray for people who have become discouraged in their faith and their walk with you and ask that Christmas will ignite new power in them for rising and achieving.

For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.





DAILY word study: WRAPPED IN CLOTHS The Greek phrase "ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν στέφανοις" (esparganōsen auton stephanois) is translated as "wrapped him in cloths." The verb "ἐσπαργάνωσεν" (esparganōsen) is a derivative of "σπαργανόω" (sparganóō), meaning to swaddle or wrap in swaddling clothes. In Luke 2:7, Mary, after giving birth to Jesus, wraps Him in cloths and places Him in a manger. Swaddling infants in strips of cloth was a common practice in ancient times. It provided warmth, comfort, and a sense of security for the newborn.

The act of swaddling Jesus carries symbolic significance. It reflects the care, protection, and tenderness of a mother towards her child. It also foreshadows the humility of Jesus, born in a humble setting and wrapped in simple cloths. Swaddling is reminiscent of the care given to infants, and it could allude to passages in the Old Testament that speak of God's nurturing and care for His people. In this simple act of wrapping Jesus in cloths, we see the convergence of the divine and the mundane. The Son of God, the Savior of the world, enters into the vulnerability of human infancy, wrapped in the same kind of cloths as any newborn. This act, seemingly ordinary, holds profound meaning. It speaks of God's choice to embrace human fragility, to experience our every condition, and to dwell among us.

This act of swaddling invites us to contemplate the depth of God's love expressed through the Incarnation, prompting us to approach God with a sense of awe and gratitude for His willingness to be with us in our humanity. Reflections: As we ponder the image of the baby Jesus wrapped in cloths, do we recognize the profound humility and love expressed in God's choice to enter into the human experience? How does the simple act of swaddling emphasize the accessibility and relatability of God's love?


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