Summary: Consider the questions of "why the manger" and "why the cross?"
Start at the Manger… then go to the Cross
1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3All returned to their own towns to register for this census. 4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was obviously pregnant by this time.
6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. Luke 2:1-7 NLT
A. Why the Manger?
Couldn’t the Savior of the world, couldn’t God, if He is God, done better? Why not be born on a romantic beach, somewhere in the Pacific? Why not in a more sanitary place?
Finding a lamp on a beach, Bob began cleaning it, so he rubs it, bam! Out comes a genie. For setting me free, I will now grant u 3 wishes. “Cool” says Bob. “OK Genie dude, I want a billion dollars.” Poof! As the smoke clears, there in his hands, Bob was holding a paper with Swiss bank account numbers in his name.
“Cool” he says.
“Next, I want a Ferrari” Poof! Parked next to him was a brand new red Ferrari with vanity plates that says “Bob”! Again Cool!
“Finally” Bob says, “I want to be irresistible to women”
Poof! Bob turns into box of chocolates.
Irresistible… I wonder if that’s the reason…
Show pictures of babies. Illustrate. How inviting, How beautiful, cute, how approachable? Are they saying “c’mon let’s play, let’s enjoy… let’s have fun”
Is it not true when u see a puppy or a kitten, there’s almost an irresistible urge to come near it and touch it, but if it’s a full grown pitbull or a tiger, you will pull away sensing danger, protective cause u don’t want to lose a leg or an arm?
Is it not possible that’s the point of the manger scene? Does it not say “God wants to draw near” and come and see you won’t lose your limbs, God is not going to bite you”,
See, The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Is that really true? That God wants us to enjoy Him, that He knows the only way we can do that is when we are not sacred out of our wits by Him or fear of being blown away by Him – for no one is scared away by a baby – The Manger scene bears has no secret, it has no arms secret agenda, no secret factory building nuclear arms or weapons of mass destruction, it has no secret desire to destroy, it only says “welcome”
That’s His signature, that’s His M.O., That’s His mission, that’s His goal. And He’s inviting us to come near. Do u hear what I hear?
Furthermore, the manger destroys the charge of arrogance that we may have against Him. God you must be arrogant to think You can save me, yeah savior of the world.
Is God arrogant? What does the manger say, the humility of being born, not even in a hotel room or an inn? Can u see - The manger speaks powerfully of a God that refuses to wield His power for fear it will drive people away. The manger speaks powerfully of a God who wants to identify with the poor and the humble, the unfortunate ones, the struggling mothers, the homeless, the fearful, the hurting, the classless, the regular guy on the street. The manger speaks to every one who feels insignificant, that there is One whose eyes are on us and feels He’s got to be with us. The manger makes a statement – there’s Someone who cares enough to enter the muck and mire of a living hell, a place of struggle and suffering and disease and war called earth. No, this God is not gonna watch from a distance. He comes near enough to be touched and wrapped snugly in strips of cloth. He comes near enough to be laid in a manger in an insignificant hole really, a cave, and in a town so insignificant that today we sing of it in a carol “O little town of Bethlehem.” Wouldn’t it be awesome for the Lord of the world to be born in the capital city?