I am a little manger.
I was originally an ordinary tree. A carpenter said that he wanted to make me into something, it was such wonderful news. My dream had come true! Actually, when I was still a small green shoot, I dreamed of being a treasure box. I wished to collect so many treasures. Just thinking of it made me so happy.
When the carpenter started working on me, he did make me into something shaped like a box. I said to myself, “I have been waiting for so long, has it finally come true – I might become a treasure box!” However, it was rather strange that for a long time, the carpenter, did not make a cover for me. Eventually I heard him say, “finally the manger is finished.” At that moment, I knew that my dreams had been dashed.
After that very day, I lived in a dirty, dark place surrounded by horses and sheep. I was storing, not treasure, but feed for the livestock. But that was okay, this is who I was, how could anyone have chosen me to be a noble vessel? Then, one quiet night, as I lay feeling sorry for myself, I can still remember, the amazingly large star shining brightly in the sky. I suddenly heard some footsteps rushing towards where I lived. Normally no one came at night. Was this something urgent for the master? What happened next really surprised me! A strange man and woman walked in she had a very big belly and seemed to be in pain. I later found out that they were a couple and they were hurrying to settle in for the woman was preparing to give birth! But why would they choose to come to a dirty place like mine? I heard the woman screaming in pain, and the man next to her was very nervous. I really wanted to help, but I was just a little manger, what could I do?
After some time, I heard a baby crying and the tense atmosphere was broken. Although the woman looked tired, she was content and tenderly held the little baby, who was like a dough ball in her arms. The man was very happy. After carefully picking up the child, he actually walked towards me! He gently placed the little baby on my body, and I felt, for the first time, the warmth this little living creature brought to me. Although I was just a manger, I was so moved that I wanted to cry. I expected my whole life that I would only be a humble manger holding food for livestock, now I could actually hold a little life!
A short while later, I heard a lot of footsteps. It was a group of shepherds. Excitement was written all over their faces. They greeted the couple respectfully, saying that they came to meet the Saviour, and then, with great respect, they knelt down to worship the little baby who was lying on me! Was I dreaming? The little life lying on my body turned out to be the saviour! Surely the Saviour is more noble than all the treasures in the world? At this moment, my dream had come true. I became a vessel for the most noble treasure. God actually chose to place the saviour that the Jews had been waiting for, in an ordinary and humble manger like me. Even though I was only a manger, I could understand the meaning of grace. What kind of saviour was this who was willing to become a little baby, born in an uncomfortable environment, and made to lie in an ordinary, humble manger. I looked forward to this baby’s future and how he would save the world. I wondered what he would be called, then I heard the man say softly, “This baby’s name is Jesus.”
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor 4:7
Pastor Tobey Chan