Yesterday, like many other churches in the UK and probably across the world, we had our carol services. The morning was an all age service with the children taking part and the evening a traditional carol service with readings and a wonderful mix of old and new carols, to both organ and band.
Although a manger isn't where you'd want to lay a new born baby - my daughter has gone as far as parking her playmobil ambulance next to the nativity scene to whisk Mary to the hospital for the birth - it's the very place that the King was laid following his birth. A genuine King size bed.
The children's carol says Away in a manger, no crib for a bed. But Jesus is The Way in a manger. He came from the highest height to the lowest depths. Without the greatest gift of all, there would be no hope, no salvation.
Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. So in between wrapping presents, decorating the tree, singing carols, just take a moment to worship the One who made this possible. Who gave us the forgiveness we don't deserve. And showed us the true meaning of love.