The following devotion was written for an Advent devotional booklet, published for its members by St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Ithaca, Ohio. Cross-posted here by permission of the author, Jane Morris Brown.
In the last couple of years I became a fan of Facebook. I really like the interaction with many friends each day, learning about their lives, their likes, their dislikes, their politics, many stories and pictures about their families, pets, and jobs. A while back I found a new group that is of great interest to me, LWR Quilters. There are many Lutheran Churches throughout the country who make quilts for LWR in this Facebook group. It is fun reading all the information that the quilters add each day. On most days the banter between the members goes back and forth with information and help to sew the quilts exactly like the written instructions from LWR.
Our Facebook group has had many discussions about how the quilts should be created. Some think all quilts should be as if we were keeping it for ourselves, making it to sell at the quilt show, or giving a gift to a friend. Some suggested the to make quilts with plainer quilt squares since the receivers uses these quilts as bed mattresses, room dividers in their small houses, and most importantly a warm, sturdy covering on cold nights. We all agreed that our quilts, no matter if very pretty or very plain, be given with the love that comes from the heart and that each quilt be made that those receiving would feel as though we would be giving a gift to Jesus.
When I sat down to write an Advent story, I got to thinking about making a quilt for the Baby Jesus. Basically Jesus was just like the people receiving these quilts today, he was poor and homeless during this time of his life, born in terrible circumstances in a cold stable among the animals, the hay, straw, and wrapped in torn pieces of cloth known as swaddling cloth. I think it would have been wonderful if He had one of our quilts to use as a cushion in the manger, and the layers of the quilt to keep him warm. Jesus and his family would have been happy with any quilt he would have received. Beautiful or plain, the gift of warmth is all that mattered to keep this baby alive and healthy, and give him a soft place to sleep in his manger bed.
The gift of Jesus as our Savior is all we need to feel the warmth of love. If we keep this love wrapped around us each day, we feel the everlasting warmth of our Father’s love. And this love comes in just plain swaddling cloth, the same plain cloth that is used to make our quilts that are sent into many parts of the world with all of our love.