This is a project that I’ve been working on for a couple of years, and finally this year I have the guts to put it out there on my blog to share, lol!  This first day is just an introduction, we’ll start tomorrow and end on the 24th, hopefully with an empty manger waiting the arrival the King.

Please understand I am not a scholar, most of this is just me, writing from my heart, asking questions of myself and wanting to share the journey with my friends. I hope you’ll leave comments for me, tell me what you are learning, or questions you have, or encouragement for me 🙂

So let’s begin~

Picture it – an empty manger. A simple framework to hold feed for the animals. Nothing fancy, certainly not fit for a king. But indeed where the King of Kings would one night lay wrapped in cloths[1].

Now picture your own heart – a manger. A simple framework to hold your desires. Is it empty? Is it ready and able to receive the Messiah? Or, like the inn, is it a little too crowded? As we approach the celebration of the coming of the Christ Child, do you, like me, need to move some “stuff” out of the manger to make room for Jesus?

This twelve-day introspection is not meant to bring judgment; no, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ[2]. This is an opportunity to look deep inside and see what is cluttering up our manger–things of this world and desires of the flesh. To let Christ search our hearts[3] and gently remind us why a babe wrapped in cloths was the greatest gift we’ve ever received.

Join me on this journey to empty out our mangers and prepare some room in our hearts for Christ’s coming.

For those of you who are “hands-on” kind of people, I’ve found a couple of websites that have instructions on making paper mangers. Pick the one that looks easiest to you and make a physical manger. Place some strips of paper in the manger. Each day as you discover things that are in your manger, write them on the slips of paper. Then as you close your introspective time get rid of the papers you’ve written on that day as a symbolic release of the things crowding your manger.

http://www.sundayschoolkids.com/activity-christmas/1-c-3d-manger-instru.htm

http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/away-in-a-manger-the-manger-668195/

 

References:

[1]  Luke 2:7

[2] Romans 8:1

[3] Psalm 139:23

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