An Empty Stall – A Christmas Communion Meditation
Luke 2:7 says, “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, since there was no room for them in the inn.”
An empty stall. I remember an empty stall. When I was a boy living on the farm we had a beautiful brown Swiss cow. She was brown from her wet nose to her swish tail. Since she had a huge set of horns, it was not safe for her or the other cattle to let her graze with them, so she stayed in a stall by herself. We called her “Brownie.” She gave the best cream of all the cows. It was better than the Holsteins’ and better than the Gurneys’. I loved that cow.
One day when I arrived home after school something had changed. It would take some time before my father would tell me. Finally, my father said, “Brownie went away.” That’s how they said it on the farm. Brownie had gone to the marketplace; she had gone to the slaughterhouse. Brownie’s stall was empty, and no cow would be put into that stall again.
Jesus was born in a stall. He soon outgrew his stall. He became a strong man, a preacher man, a healer, one who loved children, and one who raised the dead. One day he went away. He went away to the marketplace of Jerusalem. He went away to the slaughterhouse. After his enemies had taken his life, two men put his remains in a tomb.
Jesus’ stall was empty, and his body was laid in a tomb. Then the Father, the Heavenly Father said, “My son’s stall is empty, his life is gone, and enough is enough.” And God went into that tomb and brought out his son alive. Yes, Jesus’ stall is empty and by the power of the Heavenly Father his tomb is empty too.
Today as we come to a time of communion we remember Jesus was born in a stall, laid to rest in a tomb, and he was raised to live evermore.