Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Illusion of the Empty Manger

It's that time of year:  I've been doing a lot of thinking about mangers.  I've been thinking about the Christmas story, about God who comes to us in a most vulnerable form:  a baby born to a poor couple who lived on the edges of a great empire.

I've been thinking about Joseph, who decided to stay with the pregnant Mary.  I've been thinking about the mangers that are our lives.  Some years they feel full--although perhaps full of something unexpected:  will it be a blessing or a curse?

Last night, I wrote this Christmas Eve meditation for my church's blog.  As we zoom towards Christmas, with so many of us eager to put a difficult year behind us, it seems like a good idea to share it here.

Many of us have had a tough year; we may feel the emptiness of the mangers of our lives, as we have come to see the vulnerabilities of our health, our jobs, our relationships, our larger pictures.

But even as we perceive emptiness, God is hard at work, ready to redeem all the frayed fabrics:

We may see only shreds and strips, but God sees a beautiful new creation, just waiting to be brought forward.

Our great teachers remind us that shreds and strips take on new strength once they are woven together.

And all of creation reminds us of the creator who forms our very center:

The manger may seem empty, but it won't be for long:


For those of you who are intrigued by the photos of weaving, if you want to know more about how we used the manger and the strips in our interactive worship service, I wrote this blog post about it.

No comments: