Archive for November 28th, 2022

What We See in the Manger


Written by Robert Wacker, a contemporary pastor and chaplain for Concordia Ministries.

I can still hear the crackle of the needle on the vinyl as we set up our Christmas trees as children. I can hear the pops in the songs from the needle running over the tracks and the imperfections in the record. I can hear our laughter as we placed the ornaments on the tree and the bickering of siblings who shared the love for one specific ornament and who should get to put it on the tree that year. I can hear the crunch of the needles (real or manufactured). I can see the sparkle of the lights on the tree. I can clearly hear four songs playing that were a must-play for our family as we decorated. First was always Alvin and the chipmunks’ “Christmas Song.” …Then we would sing “Silent Night” and “O Christmas Tree” in German and then English. Then “Away in a Manger” sung by someone like Jonny Cash or Alabama. Then my dad would always play the entire album by the Carpenters “Christmas Portraits.” This was some of our traditions in my family as we set up the house for Christmas. To this day I like to pull out the record player and my dad’s records when we set up our tree to hear these songs and share them with my son. At church, we would have the Christmas story read, but the tradition was that it was read in the King James Version. To this day, I still hear the story of our Savior’s birth in my head read in that particular translation.

As we celebrate with those we love, we develop our traditions together. Newly married couples develop their own traditions their first year together, and it’s often a merger of their families traditions. As we go through our traditions each year, they remind us of those we love, those who love us, and the love of our God who was born in a Manger that night all those years ago to the Virgin Mary…It is in this Baby that all the promises and prophecies of God would be fulfilled to save the world from sin…This is what we see prepared for us when we look at the Christmas Manger scene every year, as we look to the birth of our savior, that God loves you so much that He came to save you, and He did so in Jesus. He died for you. Forgiving your sins, giving you salvation, and He gives you eternal life. This is what we see in the manger.


Matthew 2:11

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”


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