"No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught; they have no right, no hope; they are judged. …
“ Who among us will celebrate Christmas correctly? Whoever finally lays down all power, all honor, all reputation, all vanity, all arrogance, all individualism beside the manger; whoever remains lowly and lets God alone be high; whoever looks at the child in the manger and sees the glory of God precisely in his lowliness. …
“And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly … God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”
―Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger
Around this time every year, you can hear people say, “Come to Bethlehem,” or “It’s time to go to Bethlehem.” It is when we see the Holy Family and the babe in the manger that the deeper meaning of Christmas comes to us personally. As Brad Owen reminds us often, this is the story that came TRUE!
Aren’t we glad that Jesus came to the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire, and to one of the least towns in Israel/Judea; and to the lowest class of people, shepherds, in the middle of the night? If He will do that and then come in the most vulnerable form and expression of Love as an infant, then maybe He really does want to meet all of us in our most vulnerable place(s).
The stories shared by volunteers will reflect on the many opportunities to discover this miraculous encounter with God in the manger. Not only far away from Washington DC, and far from Raleigh, but tucked away in the mountains east of Asheville, at Groce United Methodist Church; and also each time we serve one of the lowliest in our community. As the litany reflects, “Let the Christ in me, greet the Christ in thee.”
Our thanks to all who hear His call, hear His angels sing, who care for Him.
Reverend Scott Rogers