He lies in the manger. Notice here that nothing but Christ is to be preached throughout the whole world. What is the manger but the congregations of Christians in the churches to hear the preaching? We are the beasts before this manger; and Christ is laid before us upon whom we are to feed our souls. Whosoever goes to hear the preaching, goes to this manger; but it must be the preaching of Christ. Not all mangers have Christ neither do all sermons teach the true faith. There was but one manger in Bethlehem in which this treasure lay, and besides it was an empty and despised manger in which there was no fodder. Therefore the preaching of the Gospel is divorced from all other things, it has and teaches nothing besides Christ; should anything else be taught, then it is no more the manger of Christ, but the manger of war horses full of temporal things and of fodder for the body. , 51. But in order to show that Christ in swaddling clothes represents the faith in the Old Testaments, we will here give several examples…” (Luther’s Church Postil, V. 1.1, #50-51, p. 151-152).
Picture: The hand-carved wooden altar of Historic Trinity Evangelical Lutheran dates from 1896.