And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
You won't find cattle in the Bible Christmas text, but you can see where the idea comes from: The baby Jesus was placed in a manger. When the angel announced the birth of Christ the Lord to the shepherds, he said, "This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:12) It's probably safe to say that a manger bed wasn't the norm for a newborn or any child, so in this way they would recognize the One they sought when they found Him. Whether this manger was in a stable or some other room is not known for sure, but where there's a manger, there are usually animals, and so pictures like the one above are common depictions of the nativity.
More important than all that is what this scene means.
For such a miracle - the Son of God born as a baby, born of a virgin! - the event is recorded as simply as this: "She gave birth to her firstborn, a son." He was born in a natural way, born just like you and me. That's because He was born for you and me, born to be like us in every way, yet without sin, for He came as our perfect substitute, to bear our sin. The humble manger-bed would eventually lead to a horrific cross. For this He was born. For you and for me. For the forgiveness of all of our sins.
See how the blessings of Christmas extend throughout the year to fill your everyday life!
Follow "The ABC's of Christmas" series:
INTRO, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W
Questions or Comments? CLICK HERE TO CONTACT DANIEL.
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.