Sunday, December 10, 2006

Start at the Manger...

Tonight I decided to take some time out of sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next e-mail to come in to change the life-sucking project. I went to the Christmas pageant, Start at the Manger, at the First Baptist Church here in Benton. It's hard to believe how messed up my priorities have been lately. I made that realization when I tried to figure out how many Sundays I've missed at my own church. I think that might be a part of the reason that Christmas just isn't real to me this year. Tonight was a great reminder and it isn't to late to get back to the real reason we celebrate this. I love shopping for presents, and parties, and seeing my family, and the wonder that's in the air. I love it, but it means nothing compared to the gift and the wonder of the first Christmas. This pageant, Start at the Manger, began with the birth of Jesus and ended with the Crucifixion. It's impossible to understand the real gift without both.

Luke 2--The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

I took this picture of the manger in front of the First Methodist Church. It's hard to believe that I actually live in a town with churches downtown, across from the county courthouse, and they have mangers in the front lawn of the Methodist Church. Of course, the Baptist Church had real camels and donkeys, but I say, "Good job, First Methodist!" I love Benton.

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