First Baptist Church of Herndon

681 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170-4722, Phone 703-437-3620

Focus on the manger

Linda Soller | Dec 16, 2013

It isn’t often that I write this blog by hand and then type it in to the computer. But this evening was the perfect opportunity. Ice had taken a toll on the nearby power and cable lines. We were lucky to have our power back on, but the cable was still out. It was normally a favorite TV night, and I kept thinking the cable would come back on and I will still catch my shows, at the very least they would be magically recorded.

Outside fog settled in and the view from our windows was magical. The neighbor’s house lights created glowing orbs of soft light. Our house was so quiet. My brain started down the list of things I could do, I could read, or knit, or write, or just call it a night, but instead I glanced over at the nativity scene on the fireplace hearth, and realized I didn’t have to do anything. So I sat and stared at the tiny figures.

I have the full Fisher Price nativity set. Really, I have the shepherds, sheep, wise men, the inn, a bunch of extra figures, and two mangers. You see they came up with a new version of the manger and naturally I had to get it. I’ve tried to create the mood of the Christmas story. To one side all the sheep and shepherds are on the grassy knoll looking up at the angel. From the other side wise men with their camels and gifts are coming toward the city. There are lots of people and animals in the city. Then there is the manger. Amidst the hustle and bustle of busy Bethlehem a manger sits, unpretentious, practical, and still. As I sat there on my couch I could imagine the peacefulness of the manger in the middle of the chaos of the city.

Let’s face it the winter weather can be a problem for adults. Our commutes get messy, the shoveling is hard, and it’s just plain cold. We grumble as it interferes with our plans, our TV. We stress about what we will do if we can’t get to work, or if we get to work and can’t get home. At the same time it can be a blessing. Sometimes the winter weather forces us to be still, to adjust to the quiet, to let go.

 I sat and contemplated the nativity scene on my fireplace hearth.  Cozy and warm, I anticipated what would come. Some time passed, I don’t really know how long. Once or twice I got up and adjusted a person or an animal in the scene to get it just right. It will be Christmas soon. In Bethlehem there was a manger surrounded by a busy city. It was a quiet place in a noisy world. The excitement and activity outside could not compare to the event taking place inside that manger. In the hustle and bustle of our busy world we need to pause, we need to appreciate the value of the quiet moments in our lives and what they can lead to. We need to focus on the manager.

Have a great week!   :o)  Linda