The Christmas Story as Told by the Manger
Today we are continuing our Christmas Character Series. Brother Jerry Valenti wrote today's creative composition, and 7-year-old Kassidy Rabe provided the artwork.
I used to dream. Years ago, when I was a tree, my dream was that my wood would be used to build a beautiful treasure chest. I could just envision myself ornately decorated and holding precious treasures.
When a carpenter cut me down, I knew my dream was about to begin. But, alas, the carpenter made me into a feeding trough and sold me to an innkeeper. For years now, I've lived in this stable, and the only treasure I hold is grain that the animals come and eat from me. What a far cry from what my dreams once were!
I think we're going to have company tonight. The word among the animals (OK, the brays and moos among the animals) is that some people are going to spend the night in the stable tonight. Now, it's not the first time that the innkeeper (Mr. Motel-1-Shekel himself) has allowed this, but this time the woman is pregnant (and very pregnant – I'm surprised her OB/GYN has allowed her to travel this far from home). Someone said something about the woman being a virgin, but obviously they were mistaken.
The couple is quiet enough when they arrive, but around the middle of the night, things start to get quite noisy from their corner of the stable. At first, it sounds like the wife is in pain, but then the sounds change over to...a baby crying! Their baby has been born in a stable – this can't be! (I'm sure this place isn't on the list of preferred health care facilities for their HMO). How is this going to look on this boy's birth certificate?
I didn't see any cradle among this couple's belongings. Where is this baby going to sleep? They wouldn't put him on the ground, would they? Oh no, wait — I can't believe this — I'm the cradle!
OK, the baby is sleeping now. It's actually quite a pleasant feeling to hold this baby. The whole scene is quite surreal, actually, lit up brightly by a new star shining down from the sky. Wait a minute...a virgin giving birth in Bethlehem with a new star overhead...could this be? OMG – this is God's son, the savior of the world!
Looking back, I am amazed at how God has granted my dream in a way I never could have imagined. I'm not a treasure chest, but I am holding the most precious treasure of all!