Christmas Day: Mercy in a Manger

 

This year is one of the quieter Christmases; I am spending more time resting and spending also more time with my loved ones. There is no Christmas tree nor decorations at home, but I did not forget one important aspect of Christmas which is the Nativity scene. I made the annual journey into the storeroom to bring out the display for it is on Christmas day to welcome the baby Jesus into our lives yet again for the new year.

It is hard to see that Jesus who is almighty and Saviour being born in a manger; so many people see Jesus as the great divine being and it is hard for them to know that he grew up as a child too. In the gospel reading,it shows Jesus as the true Light and being the Child in the manger, he comes into our lives and brings mercy to us.

“The true light,which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him, he gave power to become children of God”(John 1:1-18). 

The manger to me shows pure humility, simplicity and love. Jesus came into our world as a baby, and  there is an intrinsic connection for us when we see a baby interacting with us. None of us are worthy to have Jesus, but through the symbolic significance of the manger, Jesus comes into our lives year after year, small and personal, to be close to us,so that we can hold him in our arms. Thus, we are able to carry him into our hearts, lives and to others who have yet to know him.

Jesus is able to reconcile us for he became man just like us to save us from our sins and so that we could follow his teachings. Jesus, born in a manger, is his greatest gift of mercy to us; mercy so freely given, and all we have to do is to accept him. We all do need God’s mercy as we are not perfect. Jesus has come to be with us.

May we see the manger in a new light this Christmas. As we walk into the manger to greet Jesus, may we feel his mercy and grace reaching out to us, so that we are made whole again and to experience new life within again!

Of all the Christmas hymns I listen to, this hymn speaks to me,  a perfect fit for the Year of Mercy:

What Child is This & Child of the Poor 

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

 Refrains

Helpless and hungry, lowly, afraid
Wrapped in the chill of midwinter;
Comes now among us, born into poverty’s embrace,
new life for the world
Who is this who lives with the lowly, 
Sharing their sorrows, knowing their hunger?
This is Christ, revealed to the world 
In the eyes of a child, a child of the poor

Who is the stranger here in our midst,
Looking for shelter among us?
Who is the outcast? Who do we see amid the poor,
the children of God?
Who is this who lives with the lowly, 
Sharing their sorrows, knowing their hunger?
This is Christ, revealed to the world 
In the eyes of a child, a child of the poor

Bring all the thirst, all who seek peace;
Bring those with nothing to offer.
Strengthen the feeble,
Say to the frightened heart: “Fear not: here is your God!” Who is this who lives with the lowly, 
Sharing their sorrows, knowing their hunger?
This is Christ, revealed to the world 
In the eyes of a child, a child of the poor

Merry Christmas everyone! And may we embrace Jesus now and forever as we go about our visiting and celebrations this season. God Bless!

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s