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‘Tis the season to come together. To gather with friends and family in warm places and spaces. To reflect on the year behind and the coming year before us.

In the Christian tradition, we come to the manger. To the stable in Bethlehem, where a baby was born who would change the world and change our lives forever. In all traditions, we come with hearts seeking something – especially at this time of year.

A reflection for all seeking hearts in this season – from a Christian perspective but meant for all who seek.

What do you come seeking?

What do you need in this season of good news and great joy?

Does your heart need to sing? To tell of the good news of God’s coming into your own life?

Or, perhaps, to drop to your knees in adoration before the mystery?

What do you come seeking, as you come to the manger in this Season of Advent – coming. Waiting, watching, preparing. Coming to the manger.

Perhaps a quiet moment, away from all the chaos is what your heart most longs for at this time.

Although, “peaceful” may not be a very accurate description of a manger. Certainly not any stable I’ve ever been in.

There’s plenty of bleating and bawing, bawling and mooing. If there are donkeys and mules near that manger, and they get to singing, it sounds like a freight train passing by!

I wonder how well Baby Jesus slept?

At least there were no iPhones, tablets, noisy news stations, TV or social media there.

At least, a quieting of the spirit is possible if we seek that heart and soul.

What do you need from Jesus? Here, as you come to the manger in search?

Not just a lowly babe, meek and mild, but Jesus the Christ: The One of the manger, but also the streets, the turning tables?

Who spoke truth to power? Challenged the status quo and the oppression of the widow, orphan, undocumented and alien? Who sat down at table with friend and foe alike and embraced and loved those on the margins?

What do you need to find, when you come to Jesus, the One who laid down his life for such love of the whole world?

For Jesus did not stay in that manger – a helpless infant, meek and lowly, no crying he makes.

He grew out of that manger. He grew in wisdom and stature, in love with God and creation.

And he went into his life and calling with courage and faith.

When we come to the manger, we bring all that we have and are in this moment.

We come every year. We might be seeking something we cannot name. Longing for something just out of our grasp.

Is it Hope? Peace? Love? Joy? The candles and themes of Advent?

It might be different each time we come. Each year, or each time, many times, in a season.

What do you come hungry for when you come to Jesus in the manger? How can you share what you find there, “like one beggar telling another where to find bread?”

This year, consider setting up a manger, (or a doll bed) in your home. Come to the manger every day in prayer and seeking.

Come to the manger, come to Jesus. Wait on the Lord – in stillness and longing.

Drop to your knees in adoration. Cradle the baby in your arms. Ponder the meaning of this birth. Promise to love and care for Jesus and all God’s children, all life long, as Mary did.

Rev. Rebecca K. Poos is the Pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ in BV. She is involved in numerous community groups, including Collegiate Peaks Forum Series board, Collegiate Peaks Chorale, music and equine activities.  She loves this community and the spirit and beauty found here. She can be reached at revbecca@icloud.com  or 719-252-6890.

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