A manger is a feeding troth that is used to feed animals. It could have any kind of food in it from hay to pig slop to feed the pigs. The manger is often associated with the Christmas story because Jesus was put in a manger when he was born. It makes it sound so wonderful and glamorous, but it's not. It is dirty, it is where leftover food from the animals would of been, and I am sure that it smelled and was never cleaned.
Mary and Joseph had no other choice than to accept the room in the stable and therefore everything that came with it. They would of made a bed out of the hay and the noises of the animals would of been all around them. The donkeys, cattle, and sheep would of helped to keep them warm at night. Who knows how long they had to stay in the stable but when it came time for Mary to give birth they had to have a place to put the baby. I am sure Joseph or the Inn Keeper's wife would of filled the manger with hay and made it as comfortable as possible for the baby. They wrapped him in clothing before laying him in the manger.
When the different people were told of the new born king and came to see him, he was not in a fancy crib or a rich house. He was in a stable and laying in a manger. That adds a little more to the story because it shows us that Jesus was an everyday person. Through his humble beginnings we get a glimpse into the life of our savior. He went from humble beginnings and laying in a manger to dieing on a cross. Is it ironic that both the beginning of his life and the end of his life involved wood in some way? Were they both made from the same type of wood?
Cyprus is a very common wood during that time, so maybe both the cross and the manger were made from Cyprus. Does that have significance? I don't know for sure. This Christmas season has been a blessing to me as I work through my 25 days of Christmas. When we think of the Christmas Story, we need to remember that Jesus started his life in a stable and more importantly in a manger. He started a life in a manger that feed animals which is very symbolic because Jesus fed the world. He was and is the bread of the world.
This is my body, broken for you, do this in remembrance of me...