There are many profound reasons why the newborn Jesus was laid in a manger, or better said, a feeding trough. It shows that right from the first moment of his life he is the bread of life, giving himself to us as food. Even the name Bethlehem means, “house of bread”. It also shows that Jesus has embraced poverty and so he identifies with all the poor of the world. It also shows that he is not afraid of humbling himself in order to dwell in an imperfect place.
Spiritually there is much to reflect on here. We come to the Lord for food, and he nourishes us. Our soul itself is like a feeding trough, needing to be filled, and only God can do that fully.
Finally, when we look into our hearts, we know we are imperfect. Yet it was in an imperfect place that The Lord was born. When we see the manger, let’s remember that we are very much like that, and the Lord wants to be born in us.