"Away in a manger, no crib for His bed,
the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.
The stars in the heavens looked down where He lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay."
This Christmas carol, also known as Luther’s Cradle Hymn, was the first Christmas carol that I learned as a child. I loved the song because being raised on a farm, I could relate to the setting of the song. My folks were dairy farmers, and in the winter when all of cows were in the barn, along with a few stalls of my dad’s draft horses, the barn was a warm place to be. All the animals ate hay and grain. The heat of their bodies warmed the building and as young children, my siblings and I, played in the feed aisle or climbed up on the horses backs to stay busy while my parents and extended family did chores and milked cows.
Warmth has seemed to me to be part of understanding the love of God. As a child I felt the warmth of being in the barn was part of the baby Jesus’ experience while He was in His manager in the barn with His mother, Mary. As I grew older, I found that friendship, love, and relationships in general, generate a type of warmth. So I pray that during this cold season of winter in Minnesota, we will feel the warmth of your love as our Savior and from others around us who love the Lord and his people – that we care for one another and show the love of God to those around us and to those who we don’t know or see but who are part of our family in Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help us during this time of Advent and Christmas as we seek to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are seeing the effects of the corona virus and struggling with the challenge of how to show your love of our friends and neighbors both in our community and around the world. Give us strength to provide the warmth of your love to everyone we meet, and to those beyond our neighborhoods that are suffering during this time. We ask that you bless this world during this time and give us the opportunity to show your love to all people. Amen
To the Writers
of this devotional: