• Melanie Boutiette

More Than A Decoration


"I love my variety of manger scenes..."

Every year as I decorate for Christmas, my favorite décor is the variety of manger scenes I've collected over the years. Some are of fragile porcelain; other sets are carved Italian creche figurines. Others are made of olive wood or folklore style and more. But the largest manger scene by far, is the one displayed in my front yard with the near life-sized holy family, shepherds, wisemen, and animals. The wood and metal manger are filled with hay and an angel hangs above it.


That display, with all the lights, draws a lot of attention, admirers, and cars that drive by slowly at night.


"People drive by at night to admire the manger scene..."

But all these manger scenes are representative of truth and should be more than just decorations. While they are symbolic of the Christmas story, they are to remind us of real-life occurrences. Often, we can get lost in the tinsel, lights, décor, presents, and parties, that we miss the real reason for the season.


The history of the manger scene unfolded when Caesar Augustus lawed that all inhabitants must travel to their hometowns for a census. For Mary and Joseph, that meant they had to leave Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem. Not an ideal time for Mary, as she was pregnant.


“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register. So, Joseph went up from Nazareth…to Bethlehem… He went there to register with Mary….” (Luke 2:1-5)



"The Savior was born in a manger as there was no room for Him..."

Can you imagine these weary, soon-to-be parents, being forced to travel while Mary was “heavy with child?” Fancy words for “she was big and pregnant.” Not the best time to take a trip. Then they encountered difficulty when they arrived at Bethlehem. The city, along with others, were packed and crowded with travelers and visitors, due to the census. They literally could not find a room to book anywhere. Scripture tells us, “There was no room at the inn.” (Luke 2: 7)


Thus, they ended up in the manger or a barn more fit for animals than for a King. Before long, Mary went into labor. Rather than being born in a lush palace or a comfortable and clean hotel or inn, the King of the universe made His debut in the least likely of places: a dirty barn.


“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born… She wrapped him in clothes and place him in a manger, because there was no room available for them.” (Luke 2: 7-8)


The Savior was born in a manger as there was no room for Him…


In all honesty, it reminds me of today. As we rush about with holiday shopping, decorating, parties, planning, and even traveling, we can be so busy that there is no room in the inn of our hearts and lives for the Son of God to come afresh and anew.


We can get so busy that there's no room for Him.


"We can get so busy, there's no room for Him..."

As I reflect on this, if we’re not careful and intentional, the manger scenes become nothing more than just pretty decorations. Instead, let us pause and remember the true meaning of Christmas. This holiday season, let us take time and make room for Him in our busy lives and distracted hearts to truly worship the King. This year, as you set out your manger scenes or drive by a display, let it be more than a decoration.



Beloved:


During this busy season, can you make time for Me? Is there room in your heart and life for Me in this holy season? While I was King of the universe, when I was born, there was no room in the inn for Me. And this is nothing new to Me today. People are still too busy and distracted and it grieves My heart. But I knew this would happen, and I humbled Myself to be born in a manger. And I will make My entrance into any heart that is willing to seek and accept Me. Beloved, seek Me at this time for I long to be born afresh in your heart again.



“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born… She wrapped him in clothes and place him in a manger, because there was no room available for them.” (Luke 2: 7-8)


"This year, as you set out your manger scenes or drive by a display, let it be more than a decoration..."