Come to the Manger… by Pastor Dora Clarkson

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Shepherds came.  The Bible says they came “with haste.”  They wanted to see what had happened.  And after they saw the newborn Babe, they began telling everyone they could find what they had seen and heard.  What did it do in them?  They returned to the fields glorifying and praising God.  They experienced wonder, hope, joy, and excitement.  I believe their worship was transformed.

Wise Men came.  They came “from the east,” guided by a star.  And when they came into the house, they worshiped Him and opened their treasures for Him.  What did it do in them?  They experienced joy like no other time.  It was not only joy, but it was exceeding, and great joy!  The Bible says they greatly rejoiced.  I believe their worship was transformed.

To come to the manger, we have to go to Bethlehem–to the city of David–to the city of Kings–to the “House of Bread” (which is the meaning of the word Bethlehem.)  What will we see when we come to the manger?  Why, a feeding trough, of course.  And isn’t that appropriate, for Jesus later said of Himself, “I am the Bread of Life.”  When you come to this manger, you will experience a silent amazement, a moment of awesome wonder, and fall to your knees in speechless humility.  I believe your worship will be transformed.

During this season, I like to bake Cranberry Nut Bread with orange zest.  This bread has red berries it it, crimson, like our sins, and also like the blood which was shed to cover and pay for those sins.  There are nuts in this bread, which were first roasted in the oven, and then crushed.  Our Savior went “through the fire” on our behalf.  He was beaten, whipped, tortured, and crushed for our welfare and healing.  There is a little essence of orange in this bread, which gives it a sweet aroma.  And this makes me think of the great, sweet, wonderful love of the Father and the sweet smell of the humility and obedience of Jesus, as He made the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption.  When I give this bread to friends, or serve it to my family, I like to think they are receiving a gift from the House of Bread, a taste of the Bread of Life.  I want their worship to be transformed.

So, hear the invitation:  Come often to the House of Bread, to the humble manger, the eating place of cattle, and be filled with the Bread of Life–the only One who can satisfy your deepest longings, hunger, desires and dreams.  Don’t fill up on the world’s junk food.  Don’t be satisfied with crumbs from the world’s table. Your worship will be transformed.

Pastor Dora Clarkson

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