The sign, given by an angel, of the Messiah’s coming was underwhelming and ill-fitting at first glance: a rag-wrapped newborn, laid to cry in a trough. Yet this was the signal sent from God and declared by heavenly messengers: You will find the Son of God in, of all places, a manger, on the outskirts of an already backwater town.
Thousands of years later, many, like the wise men, still seek the Christ. Others, like the shepherds, perhaps unknowingly await Him, humbly going about their daily work. To them, the natal sign remains instructive: You will find the Son of God on the periphery of society. He lives and works among lepers and those possessed of demons, with publicans and adulterers, alongside Samaritans and shepherds. Indeed, He identifies with the impoverished, infirm, isolated, and incarcerated (Matthew 25:34-40).
If we would find the Messiah, we too must journey to the periphery of society. And this a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (