For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.   Luke 2:11-12 

from You Version

One thing the manger reveals to us – Jesus is inclusive.

Everyone can approach a manger. Everyone can approach Jesus. Everyone.

The only folks who can’t come – those who are excluded – are the ones who think they are too good for the stable, too superior to need help, or too proud to bow their knee. These folks have trouble with Jesus. Sometimes, I am this type of folk.

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

John 6:37

Jesus says come, no matter your past, no matter your paygrade, no matter your persuasion about anything. Simply come. The Holy Spirit will do the transforming, and we, myself included, need to stop the judging, the doing, and the trying. 

I can’t earn His love, I can’t work for His love, and it is not up to me to get it right because He is the only one who is Right. Genuine freedom begins when I stop trying so hard and lean desperately into His limitless grace.

So, wretched sinner that I am – yet, being transformed by His power – I come to the manger. I come to bow at the animals’ rugged food trough that has now turned into His throne of blazing, sovereign glory. I come with humble praise. 

All because, at the manger, He included me.

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