“…she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:7

Christmas is the season when we brighten not only our cities, streets, and homes, but also ourselves. The temptation to improve on the previous season’s attire takes on an air of sacredness, when it comes to draping our bodies. I recall as a child, gazing at the mannequin in the showroom, and wondering if the dress on the mannequin would look better on me. I am sure we all have fond memories of shopping before Christmas day. Sometimes we were able to fulfil those childish desires, and at other times, we were told to ask only for what we could afford. It all depended on how deep our parents’ pockets were.

On that first Christmas eve,  the Christ-child didn’t have much to wear.  In fact,  Mary wrapped  Him in swaddling clothes and placed Him in a manger. Swaddling clothes were bands of cloth,  probably cotton, but not really “clothes,” as in a garment. The custom was to wrap the new-born in these strips of cloth. The next time we see Jesus being wrapped in white bands, was in the darkness of the tomb, where He was laid to rest. His life, from His birth to death, was marked by commonality.

The Son of God was born in a stable; He was the son of travelling parents, who were not rich or influential. This is why He would later speak to His disciples and say, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…” (Matthew 6:25). He understood deprivation and need. He spoke from experience.

Each of our crosses is of different size and weight. For many of us, our biggest concern is not when we will eat our next meal or what we will wear. It may be what fancy gadget we will buy tomorrow or what fashion we will wear? Yet for countless others, who wake up with a gnawing fear of where their next meal will come from, trendy clothing is an extravagance they cannot afford. It makes us question the cost of worshipping Christ, this Christmas season. Could it mean giving up the lure of new clothes? Can we be the message of Christmas, to the ones who cannot afford it? The world is in desperate need of hope. So, as we reach out this Christmas, may our lives exemplify a Saviour who cares for those in need.

Dear Father, You have graciously extended Your care to us; may we, in turn, demonstrate this loving-kindness to those who need our help this season. Amen.

– Ps. Anand Peacock