Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

On this page, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. You can also find them on the church's YouTube Channel in the "Weekly Word" playlist. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

12/12/2017 3:46 PM

Before the Manger

12/12/2017 3:46 PM
12/12/2017 3:46 PM

This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:12)

Lately I have been reading a collection of daily devotions written by theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer does not mince words. With rigorous honesty and clarity of faith, he challenges the reader with the good news of Jesus Christ. One line I read this morning states, “No powerful person dares to approach the manger.” This one line alone is a challenge. To come before the manger, we have to let go of all assumptions of power. To come before the manger, we have to drop any notion of influence. To come before the manger, we have to lay down every ounce of who we think we have become, for the manger sits not with the powerful, but with the lowly.

We have such a hard time in this life letting go of things. We cling to the past. We cling to our stuff. We cling to our responsibilities. Over time they start to weigh heavy on our soul. Even the shepherds in the field that the angel speaks to had to leave what they knew for a time in order to come before the manger. This is what the manger does, it draws us out of the life we have fooled ourselves into living and reminds us of the life of the one who is truly in control.

Bonhoeffer puts it best when he asks, “Who among us will celebrate Christmas correctly? Whoever finally lays down all power, all honor, all reputation, al vanity, all arrogance, all individualism beside the manger; whoever remains lowly and lets God alone be high.” May you come before the manger this year with the spiritual posture of one who has laid it all down.

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