Sermons

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Sun, Dec 16, 2018

The Manger

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20 mins 3 secs
The Bible is full of symbols and to fully understand them, there is the need to pay attention to these symbols. These include: symbolic actions, symbolic words, symbolic places, symbolic events, and symbolic personalities or characters. Since this is Christmas, when we remember and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, one of the prominent symbolic places I feel strongly that we need to pay attention to is the Manger.
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The Bible is full of symbols and to fully understand them, there is the need to pay attention to these symbols. These include: symbolic actions, symbolic words, symbolic places, symbolic events, and symbolic personalities or characters. Since this is Christmas, when we remember and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, one of the prominent symbolic places I feel strongly that we need to pay attention to is the Manger.

Manger has featured prominently in many of our Christmas poems and carols. One of such popular carols is, ‘Away in a Manger’. Manger has become synonymous with the birth of Jesus as the major scene in the depiction of Nativity drawings. The word Manger (crib or stable) is mentioned three times in chapter 2 of the book of Luke. Ordinarily, the word Manger means a place where animals are kept, that is, a feeding trough for animals. It is usually an opening in a cave or near a cave.

A manger is usually cold, dark and smells badly – the smell of animal urine and faeces. However, symbolically, the manger is more than a cold, dark and stinking place for animals. The scripture gives us insight into the significance of the Manger and what it symbolises. What then are the symbolical meanings of the Manger? Let’s look at some of them.

In the first reference to the Manger in v 6, the Manger reminds us of three things: First, the utter despondency of human race. Man is in total darkness, cold, and totally insensitive to his poor, hopeless, and precarious situation. He is stinking in sin and of sin. Secondly, it reminds us of God’s undying love that prompted Him to come to the world and seek for the lost, hopeless and helpless human race. Thus, God’s love reaches out to anyone and everyone, no matter how bad your situation. This love has been demonstrated in the incarnate God who came in the form of a baby.

Thirdly, it reminds us that sadly, men have not made room for Jesus in their lives and activities. Though, He was born in the Manger, he is no longer there; He is now looking for open and ready hearts to dwell in.

In the second reference to the Manger in v12, the Manger reminds us that God has fulfilled the work of redemption and has made it open and known to all. The Manger is a sign of God’s faithfulness that everyone needs to hear about and see. It is not a hidden thing; there is no confusion about it. The Manger is a sign of God’s amazing grace to all.

Lastly, the third reference about Manger in v16, reminds us that everyone needs to have the zeal and spirit of obedience of the shepherds that visited the Manger in order to experience the salvation and the redemption God has provided in Jesus. No matter how poor and lonely you are, you are free to come to the Saviour who brought salvation to mankind. Will you come to Him today? Hurry and come now to Jesus for He is waiting to receive you.

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