Make My Heart a Manger

A place Where Jesus Can Reside

This time of the year the Christmas story is a big part of things. You know the one, the on where Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger. As we reflect on this story here are a few things to think about.

When Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem is was full of people going about their required duties. There were so many people there was no place left for Jesus to come into this world except an animal shelter. He was given the leftovers. Too many times this is what we give Jesus… We give Him our leftover time and attention. We don’t give Him anything but some space out with the animals.

Give Jesus more than your leftovers.

A manger is a trough or box for feeding livestock. Yet this was the place where our Savior was first laid. This was the place where He began to change everything. It was the starting point.

Jesus doesn’t need a palace or a king size bed. He just needs a place to reside.

This story from “1001 Illustrations That Connect” edited by Craig Brian Larson and Phyllis Ten Elsolf about Rose Kennedy, mother of President John Kennedy, explains this well. (Make your heart a manger)

Rose Kennedy’s story:

“I was a spoiled young bride of a strong-willed man, a socialite who attended every function possible,” she began. “We were expecting a child and elated at the prospect. The day came when our child was born. She was a beautiful child.

“But it wasn’t long until we realized that there was something terribly wrong with her. We took her to the doctor, who confirmed our fears. She was [mentally handicapped], and nothing could be done.”

“Anger grew in my heart,” Rose said. “How could God do such a thing to this child — to me? I turned my back on God, my husband, my closest friends — and became a recluse.

“One evening, a major event was happening in the city. I wanted to go, but I was so filled with wrath that I thought I might create a scene. My husband feared it, too, so we decided to stay home. A lovely woman, who was one of our maids, gently said to me, ‘Please excuse me, Mrs. Kennedy, but I’ve been watching you the last few weeks. I love you very much, and I hate to see this destroy your life. Mrs. Kennedy, you’ll never be happy until you make your heart a manger where the Christ Child may be born.’

“I fired her on the spot! Yet later that night, my mind ruminated relentlessly, keeping me awake. I could not forget that lovely face, the sweetness of the maid, the joy in her spirit, and especially her words.

I have loved Christ my whole life, and tried to be a good Catholic, but now I knelt beside my bed and prayed, ‘Dear God, make my heart a manger where the Christ Child may be born.’ I felt a fresh, new, divine entry into my life, and there was born in me a love for [mentally handicapped] children.”

“Oh, by the way, I rehired the lovely maid,” Rose added. “She was with us until her death.”

Make your heart a manger where the Christ Child may be born.

What Would You Pay to Have Lunch with God?

And What Would That Be Worth?

People have paid over $4,000,000.00 to have lunch with Warren Buffet. This money goes to a charity in San Francisco to help the poor, homeless and people struggling with substance abuse. The winning bidder and seven friends get to eat a meal with Mr. Buffet at what time he will discuss anything with them apart from his next investments.

How much would you pay to have lunch with God?

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. One day a man found the treasure, and then he hid it in the field again. He was so happy that he went and sold everything he owned to buy that field.” Matthew 13:44-46

What would the Kingdom of Heaven be worth to you?

We get so entrenched in the daily routine of living our lives that too often we forget to step back and take stock of what we’re investing in. Life will take over if we let it. We think we can do everything ourselves.

A lady in an accident was trapped in her car precariously hanging over the edge of a bridge. As the rescuers tried to stabilize the vehicle and get her out, she kept yelling, “I’ll do it myself.”

Isn’t this how we approach our lives most of the time?

Where we put the most value is where our hearts are. Luke 12:34

Author Catherine Marshall spent years in bed after contracting tuberculosis in 1940. As she struggled with the illness, she couldn’t understand how God would let something like this happen. She longed for a better relationship with God and decided to give God complete control. She made a promise to God to …“do whatever You tell me.” She got well and lived her life well.

We need to constantly step back and take an inventory of our lives.

What would it be worth to you to have lunch with God every day?