Both of my children were big fans of being swaddled. Each with their own swaddle preference. My son Gus wanted to be completely wrapped. My daughter Beau liked the one arm out, one arm in swaddle, and we dare not confine her feet. Their swaddle addictions all began in the hospital. I was shocked at how tightly the nurses there wrapped up my first born. I wondered if he would be able to breathe properly in his little blue and pink striped straight jacket. My husband quickly became in expert swaddle-er after a few days of practice. He could swaddle tighter than anyone, just like Gus liked it. He knew which blankets were the right length and had the right kind of stretch to create the perfect little cocoon for Gus to sleep in.
Rewind about 2,000 years and we find our savior, Jesus, being swaddled and laid in a manger. Seems like a random detail. You would think how much he weighed and the exact date and time would have been more important than mentioning than that He was swaddled, but it was a very important detail to God. He mentions it again through the angel who announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke 2:12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.
The angel didn’t tell the shepherds where to go to find Jesus, he didn’t even suggest they go look for Him, he just somehow knew that once they heard the savior of the world had arrived in their little town of Bethlehem that they would want to go see Him. So he gave them a clue… you’ll find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
They knew right where to go. They had probably been there several times. “The hills around Bethlehem were home to the thousands of lambs used in ritual worship in the Temple. Everyone in Israel recognized Bethlehem as being synonymous with sacrificial lambs.” (Harold Smith) The shepherds that night were probably even keeping watch over sacrificial lambs. The words “swaddling cloth and manger” were very significant to them, words they used on the job quite often.
When lambs intended for sacrificing were born they were cared for differently than other lambs. They were laid in a manger and wrapped in swaddling cloths to make sure that they did not injure themselves by falling, or thrashing around, because a sacrificial lamb had to be perfect, without spot or blemish. The shepherds knew where to find swaddling cloth and a manger and when they got there they found Jesus just as the angel had described.
Our sacrificial lamb wrapped in swaddling cloth, lying in a manger, prepared for death even at His birth.
Let the same signs that the angels shared with the shepherds in Bethlehem remind us that Jesus came to the earth prepared to sacrifice His perfect, spotless life for us.
- Jesus came to the earth prepared to die for me.
- Jesus was perfect and spotless.
- God is in the details.
- The really interesting article on Bethlehem I read today.
- Josh made everyone breakfast this morning.
- The Christmas Scale. Such a sweet story.
- Josh dropped the kids off for me this morning at childcare.
- Extra long quiet time!
- Heard some great teaching on the Holy Spirit at my small group today.
- Had a very sweet, powerful time of prayer with some amazing ladies.
- My friend Kristen brought me a ginger bread house kit!
- The Mickey & Minnie mouse ornaments Kristen bought for Gus & Beau. Perfect for their playroom tree!
- The guys and gals that have worked childcare all semester for all the moms in small groups.
- Beau got to hang out with one of her favorite people this morning, Josh Hall.
- Rankin & Bass!
- Fun time making a reindeer craft with Gus.
- Josh texted me like he does every night on his way home and asked what was for dinner. I answered chicken pot pie and he was genuinely excited about that.
- The chicken pot pie was delicious.
- 111 years ago today one of my favorite people was born… Walt Disney!
- Today one of my pastors, Bill Scheer, celebrates his birthday. Glad to have sat under his ministry for a year in Tulsa.
- Pastor Bill’s “Healed” CD.
- Gus’ first High Five by Highlights magazine came in the mail. We read through the whole thing together. He enjoyed it so much.
- My mom got him a subscription, so we will get a new magazine every month.
- Sat down and watched the Pink Panther Christmas special with everyone after dinner. One sweet child on each side to snuggle up with.
- After 45 minutes of looking all over the house we finally found Gus’ beloved Carl and Lotso. His sleeping buddies.
- Batman movie night with Josh. The Michael Keaton Batman.
- Apples and popcorn.
- My Pottery Barn Kids Santa cookie jar I got from Ken Blount Ministries my first Christmas there.