What are you hungering for?
When someone says, “I’m hungry” we first think about the need for food. But we also know that people can be hungry for more than just food. To hunger for something can mean you really would like to have it. It means you long for it or yearn for it. As Christmas Eve approaches I wonder what some of the characters at the manger would have hungered for.
The shepherds were probably looked down on by other people because they were poor, worked outside, and might have been smelly because they didn’t bathe much, Shepherds may have been hungry for acceptance, to feel like they belonged to the community. Perhaps they found that hunger to be satisfied when Mary and Joseph welcomed them in to meet the new baby Jesus.
There may have been a donkey by the manger. Donkeys were used as pack animals. They were always carrying heavy burdens. Maybe the donkey would have hungered for some rest. Artists often depict the donkey lying down by the manger. It could be that the donkey finally found a chance to rest in the barn with Jesus.
Sheep are a weaker animal and were often threatened by wolves or bears or other larger animals. They may have been tired of being afraid all the time and were hungry for some peace and security. They may have found that with Jesus and the protection of the stable.
Do you ever really want to be accepted by others? Do you ever really want some rest once in a while? Do you ever get tired of being cold or afraid and could really use some peace and security? Jesus once said that he is the Bread of Life. Does this mean he is the one who can satisfy our hungers
– Pastor Erik