27 December 2008

A Way In A Manger


Sitting in the shadows, I quietly gaze at the small scene before my eyes. Each figurine reflects the rays of red, yellow, green, and blue reaching out from the nearby Christmas tree...and like those colorful rays of light, in my heart I reach out to the tiniest figure of them all: the Babe of Bethlehem. As I meditate on the familiar story, imagined scenes pass through my mind...of Mary, a new mother, cuddling, nursing, and caring for the Child who created her. A familiar Christmas carol accompanies my thoughts...the traditional tune to "Away In A Manger" (a tune less familiar than the standard one). Yes...I remember...cuddling and nursing my own first newborn child, many times during many nights. The same rocker recliner still sits in my family room in which we passed those dark hours together, dark hours filled with the warm light of new life. In the haze of half-sleep and in the glory of nourshing this new baby in my arms, I sang. To the tune of this carol, without pen and paper, just a heart full of song, I composed a new lullaby. A lullaby I have sung to each of my young children each night as they drifted into sleep. Now, as I gaze upon this nativity scene, the song sings again in my mind. As I reach out to Jesus, sitting here bathed in Christmas light, I find that He was already reaching out to me. And it is almost as if He sings the lullaby to me, who has been reborn as His child, as He holds me close this Christmas night.

My little Sharaya,
Sweet angel of light,
Shining down from Heaven,
So pure and bright;
My little Sharaya,
My precious, my dear,
Close your eyes and go to sleep.
Your mother is near.

My little Sharaya,
Your Father above
Fashioned all of you
In His wonderful love
And all of your days
Were held in His hand
Long before even one
Of them began.

Sleep, sweet Savior. In Your manger, there is rest. Rest for the One who never knew weariness until He was birthed into humanity. Rest for Your children who come to You, with the weariness of life in their hands, to lay them at Your feet and listen to heavenly music that brings rest, peace to the soul. Heard only by the ears of faith, like that of a child, believing in the One sent to deliver from sin. Peace, rest, is not a state of emotion, it is a Person.

Even a Baby, a Way in a manger.


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