Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Away in a Manger - December 25, 2014

A Christmas Reflection

 December 25, 2014 - Year B

Away in a Manger

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:20)

God ever invites us to come and see! He sent a choir of angels to invite the shepherds to come and see. A spectacular star led Wise Men from the regions of Persia to come and see. And for roughly 2,014 years folks of every race, tribe, and nation under heaven have responded to the invitation to come and see. 

Come and behold him, born the king of angels. Born that man no more may die; born to give the sons and daughters of earth a second birth. All the great hymns of Christmas marvel at the power emanating from that baby lying in a manger. So, yes, we must come again and see for ourselves on this Christmas day this babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

Come and see and worship him because, well because, born in the city of David is our Savior who is Christ the Lord! Everyone is invited. No one is excluded. That is the remarkable sense and feeling almost everyone understands this time of the year when the soul feels treasured and special. It's the most inclusive time of the year. It's that Christmas spirit everyone gets - the real reason of the Season that comes alive again. 

Christmas is when we peek once again into that feed trough and look into the wonderful face of God and feel the immeasurable mercy of his love. There we see for ourselves the Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing - our flesh - a body like our body, yet without sin. It's this truth that makes this the most wonderful time of the year, the mystery of Emmanuel, God with us, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us. He is full of grace and truth, mercy and love, life and light. It is this holy baby lying in the manger who is drawing all of us to himself. Its the holy tug we feel especially at Christmas, to be reconciled to God and to one another. 

In scripture we read: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all. (Titus 2:11) Let us therefore rejoice on this holy day of celebration of Christ's birth, even Jesus, our Emmanuel. For to you and me and to all who will come after us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. So come, come and behold him! Come and adore him! And then go and tell this amazing story of grace to everyone; the story of Christ whose law is love and whose gospel is peace.  Amen.

Dennis Hankins, a Catholic Evangelist, is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. E-mail Dennis at: or follow him on Twitter: @dshankins or visit him at:

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