The baby in a feeding trough: A Secret of the Manger

This is Day 20 of the “Wild Kids, Wild God – Looking into God’s Heart Series

A “manger” is sad place to put a baby in any era. The word comes from French, manger (mahn-shay), which means, “to eat.” Indeed, Jesus’ crib was a feeding trough, filled with food scraps and leftovers–things we probably would call trash.

If you’ve ever been treated like crap, rejected, looked down upon, spoken ill of, if you ever felt like you deserved better but instead got worse, please know, what happened to you mattersking size bed

But didn’t Jesus deserve a palace? After all, he got his very own Star! Alas, God was determined to identify 100% with Mankind: not just live among us, but get knee deep in our M.e.s.s. .(btw, Im betting we all got a star…)

God loves using symbolism and I wondered, Why the barn? Why a feeding trough?

Jesus was born in the midst of animals and too often I hear stories of people treating people like they are “animals” (and even animals shouldn’t be treated poorly).

My mom shared the story of a young man who was recently taken into police custody in the US. Partly hog-tied, knee pressed into his neck, he was put in a police van without being buckled. They drove so roughly that, in the end, his spine was 80%severed from his neck. Yes, he died.  I collapsed when I heard.

Sadly, people being treated like animals isn’t new in this world–from slavery of the past, to trafficking today, and many acts of cruelty in between. But we must be careful not to be desensitized. Hate of our fellow man can move from thoughts to words to policies, or picket signs, and we’re not far from hatred with our hands. (If you think I’m being extreme, consider what Jesus said about thoughts being like actions, or that murder begins in the heart, or that looking with lust was like having an affair… –Matthew 5:21-30)

It’s easy to forget we are each others ‘flesh and blood.’

One night Jesus sat at a table and said ‘this is my body, broken for you.’ He passoverpassed around something like bread and people ate. He took wine and did the same, ‘this is my blood, shed for many…’ Lots of people stopped following him when he spoke such things in public.

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.“(John 6:54)

Maybe the manger is more significant/symbolic than we thought. Everyone ultimately needs some food to live. Jesus fit the bill. But instead of getting a meal in the flesh, we got something eternal in the spirit: Life forever in Heaven. No good works could open those Gates–we needed a downright Miracle.

Humbling, but hopeful, the manger reminds us that God will do whatever it takes–extreme as it may be–to save His Kids. And as a bonus, we get a glimpse of God’s humility and self-sacrificing nature in the process.

Real Love. What a precious gift.

Want to know more about God’s Humility? Read: Cinderella- A Note on Humility, Entitlement and Kindness.
The following video describes/imagines the world and workings in Heaven the night before the First “Christmas.” Scenes from the movie Nativity included.


Heres a song that got me thinking more deeply about the Manger.
Third Day, “Manger Throne”

What kind of King would leave His throne
In Heaven to make this earth His home?
While men seek fame and great renown
In lowliness our King comes down

Jesus, Jesus, precious one
How we thank You that You’ve come
Jesus, Jesus, precious one
A manger throne for God’s own son

You left the sound of angels’ praise
To come for men with unkind ways
And by this Baby’s helplessness
The power of nations is laid to rest

Jesus, Jesus, precious one
How we thank You that You’ve come
Jesus, Jesus, precious one
A manger throne for God’s own son

What kind of King would come so small
From glory to a humble stall?
That dirty manger is my heart too
I’ll make it a royal throne for You

Jesus, Jesus, precious one
How we thank You that You’ve come
Jesus, Jesus, precious one
A manger throne for God’s own son

(Jesus, Jesus, precious one)
Precious Jesus
(How we thank You that You’ve come)
Jesus, Jesus, precious one
A manger throne
(My heart is a throne)
My heart is a throne for God’s own son


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