Maybe you've heard the story of children wrapping their cat in blanket and putting it in a box like baby Jesus. The cat tires of playing dress-up, leaps out of the box, and runs away. The children run after the cat yelling, "baby Jesus get back in your manger!"
We would all like Jesus to remain a baby in the manger at times. If he does not grow up, then maybe we do not have to either. But, already this week, Jesus is baptized to begin his adult ministry.
The manger becomes the Jordan River, the star is replaced by the dove of the Holy Spirit, and instead of wise travelers from the east, God's voice booms from the heavens, "You are my son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased." God loves Jesus-- God is for him, with him, and in him, in everything he does! Jesus is never alone--he is and always will be completely loved.
This is true for all of us-- you are a beloved child of God whose Holy Spirit dwells in you, with you, and is for you as we move into 2022 with all its challenges and hopes. You are never alone, and are completely washed and covered in God's love and grace. That is why God sent Jesus-- so we would have no doubt about this truth!
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