Mangerside Reflections

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas season, let's take time to consider some of the people who saw this story unfold firsthand.

Mary was intimately connected with this event. Jesus was born to her in a humble stable. Her willingness to let God work wonders through her life was truly inspiring.

Joseph may have been a little confused by the whole thing! Engaged to be married, he was shocked to find Mary was pregnant before their wedding day. Faced with a difficult decision, Joseph stepped up to the plate to help raise this child after a little heavenly intervention.

The shepherds were nothing special. These dirty, flea-bitten dregs of society found themselves in the presence of a mighty host of angels. Imagine their surprise when they discovered they would be the first among men to bear witness to the coming of the Messiah.

Wise men from the east saw a star in the sky that signified a spectacular event had taken place. Traveling from far away, they set out seeking the one true King. They brought their best gifts to give to a Savior they had not yet encountered.

Many others were present in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born, but they knew nothing about it. They slept in their beds while angels wheeled about in the sky. They turned away a needy family because they would not make room for them. They kept their gifts to themselves because they never realized there was someone nearby to give them to.

This Christmas, which person do you identify with? Do you share the same openhearted expectation and willingness of Mary? Are you present and engaged after a little heavenly nudging like Joseph? Do you find yourself in awe of something you feel unworthy to witness like the shepherds? Are you seeking something you don't quite understand like the wise men? Unsure of who God really is but ready to accept Him fully when you find Him? Or, are you like everybody else? Full of your own comings and goings and too busy with tasks? Resting comfortably with plenty of room while the rest of the world searches for a bed with no place to rest?

Whomever you are this Christmas, always remember that the One who was born on this special night lived, died, and was raised from the dead on behalf of all. Christ has love enough for you. All you have to do is accept it.


Zachariah Seanor is the national consultant for Royal Ambassadors, Challengers, and Youth on Mission; husband to an amazing wife; and lover of the great outdoors. When he’s not in the office writing blogs, he enjoys warm fires, cool summer nights, and long walks with his border collie, Nellie.


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