Advent 2018 – The Manger

This is the thirteenth in our Advent series of reflections, written by pioneering youth workers…

I wonder how grateful Mary and Joseph were to have somewhere to lay their baby? Although the picture perfect Christmas cards show a sanitised manger, I’m sure this was far from the truth. But Jesus’ parents must have done their best to create a safe space in which to lay their child.

When was the last time you felt cradled or sheltered, as the baby Christ was cradled in the manger?

To cradle is to support someone, to hold them – and I love that image – that we can cradle one another, not only physically but also figuratively. We need people in our lives who cradle us, who hold and protect us. Whether that’s a friend who will sit with us when no words can be said, someone who stands by us in times of difficulty or hardship, a listening ear, or just someone who makes us a great cup of tea.

Take a moment to think about those people who cradle you today, and whom you cradle. Perhaps you might like to sit for a few minutes in prayer or meditation with hands cupped together in an open gesture, praying for those people. Or you could send someone an encouraging text, or put a positive message or meme on FaceBook or twitter.

Christmas is a time of great joy and celebration, but can also be stressful, bring back painful memories of lost loved ones, or you may feel under pressure to be the perfect host, or to buy the most thoughtful gifts. So during this festive season make time to cradle and support, not only others, but also yourselves.


By Lori Passmore


Join us this advent.

Frontier Youth Trust is a home for pioneer youth workers. As part of our shared rhythm of life we have invited pioneers from within our community to contribute a reflection about a character from the nativity story. We will be posting these reflections throughout advent.

We invite you to journey with us and discover the story afresh.