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By definition, a manger is a trough or an open box in a stable designed to hold feed for livestock. All my life I’ve imagined a stable and a manger to be made of wood, and be a cute little scene for the story of the birth of Jesus. I imagined a wooden manger filled with soft hay for the newborn baby.
Does this look about right?
Well, hang on to your hat because it isn’t the kind of manger used those days.
See what I mean?
Did you have a “What?!?” moment like I did when I first saw it?
The “stable” that Mary and Joseph went into was not a cute little barn looking stable. It was a cave. Yes, really.
In the Holy Lands, cities are built on top of cities and churches are built on top of what people considered to be sacred sites. Below you will see the entrance to the cave where people believe Jesus was born.
Today there are several very steep steps going down into the cave.
This is the 14-point star that people have placed in the spot they believe Jesus was born. Almost everyone wanted to kneel down and touch the star. I honestly don’t believe that this is THE spot where Jesus was born, but I do believe that it resembles the true location. This is just my opinion, and I know that I could be wrong.
This was several steps away from the 14-point star, and it is where people believe the manger was that He was placed in. Here again, I’m not sure this is the exact location, but we played along nicely.
When we think of babies being born into this world we imagine softness. Soft hay, a wooden manger and not a hollowed out stone, a barn with the moonlight and stars shining bright not a dark cave. No wonder we like to use the pleasant looking nativity scene at Christmas. I for one, will never look at a nativity scene the same.