Nativity scene, Author Anna Anichkova (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2: 4-7).

Every day 2715 children are born into poverty in America alone [1].  And every day 22,000 children across the globe die from poverty-related illnesses and deprivation [2].

We are surrounded by mangers.  Surrounded, yet 2000 years after that first Christmas we still decline to see.  Why spoil this festive season? Isn’t there another sale, another party somewhere?  Pile those gifts high!  We need no encouragement to put Saturn back in Saturnalia.  We can manage that all on our own.

If pressed on the point, many of us would echo Scrooge’s sentiment:  “Are there no prisons?  Are there no workhouses?”  Who brought all these children into the world anyhow?  Why should we be saddled with their upkeep?  Who gave them the right to impose on our comfortable lives?

“…[W]ho made lame beggars walk, and blind men see[?]” to use Tiny Tim’s words.  As Christians we ought to know the answer to that.  We ought to live the answer to that everyday.  If we did, no billboards would be necessary urging that we put Christ back in Christmas.  He would already be there.
[1]  Children’s Defense Fund, Research Library, “Each Day in America,”
[2]  Global Issues, “Poverty Facts and Stats,”

Originally posted 12/22/13



Filed under Christianity, Community, Justice, Poverty, Religion

9 responses to “Mangers

  1. Great post Anna! Hebrews 13:2
    I pray you have a Merry CHRISTmas 🙂

  2. Even at this time, and perhaps especially at this time, we must never forget the plight of poverty stricken and abused children everywhere – keep them in our hearts, and pray that there will come a day when you will be out of business writing posts like these, dear Anna. I hope and pray that finding that ‘Christ is back in Christmas’ will not just be a wish, but a reality for all.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  3. Preach it, sister! You are so right. As we do every Christmas season, we watched A Christmas Carol last night. It’s basically a Christian movie. I say that because the movie convicts me and causes me to think and pray about what more I could do for the less fortunate in the coming year.
    If you get a chance, watch the new documentary called “Mully.” it’s so amazing to me how just one couple could change the lives of thousands of “manger” children.
    Merry Christmas, my friend.

    • I feel the same way about A Christmas Carol. If you remember, Scrooge vows after his ordeal, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” If only we would all make the same promise.

      Thank you for the heads-up about “Mully”. I had not heard of it.

      Happy New Year, Bill! May God bless you and yours, dear friend.

  4. Yes indeed, why spoil everyone’s festivities by mentioning the plight of the poor and hungry? Oh that our hearts radiated with the love that Christ has for this world! To the Church I would say if you want to eradicate the poor, the hungry, and the forgotten, then love them like Jesus.

    Thank you Anna. Thank you for your heart. Thank you for the passion that continues to drive you onward to bring to light the things that society would just as soon not have to hear about.

    Merry Christmas Anna!

    • And Merry Christmas to you, my friend! That sentiment is one we should celebrate year round. After all, the Babe lives 365 days a year. He grew to manhood, laid down His life to restore the relationship between God and man, then rose from the dead to give us the gift of eternal life. A Christmas gift beyond compare.


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