Before you read this, read the blog immediately below this one. I wrote it a few days ago, before I knew anything that happened (in what I’m about to tell you) happened.
You back? Good. Keep reading.
Friday afternoon, I’m sitting at my desk at work when I get an email from my wife. She learned about an event happening at a local church called a “Manger Build”. And just as the name implies, it is an event designed for Dads to bring their kids and together build a manger.
I was immediately excited about the idea and almost as fast resolved in my mind that this manger build is what my Saturday morning (the very next day) would hold.
I came home and excitedly told my 3 oldest kids about it–Madison, Macy and Crews. Crews was almost immediately uninterested. But the girls were all about it. So, Saturday morning we headed out to Southside Baptist Church, found the room where the hammering was happening, and got started.
Let me say right here that another thing I learned Saturday is that my girls were born to swing a hammer! Neither of them had ever driven a nail before, I was totally expecting to have to teach them the finer points of grip and balance and all that stuff. They took to it like a fish to water! It did my heart good!
But more than that, I was deeply reminded that it’s the manger, not the tree that ought to be serve as the centerpiece to Christmas.
And as we built that manger together, took it home, and placed it next to our Christmas tree I was quickly reminded and thrust in my imagination to THE manger. The one that held the Messiah. I was reminded so strongly that God came into this rough cradle, this feed trough, for nothing more than love–love that would drive him to the cross–for the sole purpose of forgiving me.
And in perfect innocence, and a love for Jesus, as soon as we got home my girls wrapped up one of their dolls, “Sarah” who for now will be our Jesus.