“Poor mothers, with your hoard
Of endless love and countless pain–
Remember all her grief, her gain,
The Mother of the Lord.
Mourners, half blind with woe,
Look up! One standeth in this place,
And by the pity of His face
The Man of Sorrows know.
Wanderers in far countrie,
O think of Him, who came, forgot,
To His own, and they received Him not–
Jesus of Galilee.
O all ye who have trod
The wine-press of affliction, lay
Your hearts before His heart this day–
Behold the Christ of God!” (Dinah Maria Mulock Craik)
I love that when God took on flesh, He didn’t come with pomp and circumstance into a royal palace, but humble and lowly to a manger. Interestingly, I learned recently that when one of the lambs destined for the temple sacrifices was born, they wrapped it in swaddling cloths and laid it in a manger to keep it unblemished. So Jesus, who was born to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, was wrapped in the same way in swaddling cloths and laid in the same kind of manger. He was the Man of Sorrows who was (and is) acquainted with all our griefs and is able to sympathize with us. He is truly Emmanuel, God with us.
Source: from “A Hymn for Christmas Morning” in Thirty Years: Being Poems New and Old