We are so accustomed to hearing the word 'manger' only around Christmas time, but in today's reading from Proverbs we note that it pops up again.
"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests." - Proverbs 14:4 What Proverbs is referring to is when there are no animals to work the fields, then the manger/crib/trough will be empty. This is not speaking about the feeding trough of the animals, but rather the collection of the food that is stored in the manger. The second half of the proverb then reminds the listeners that when you have oxen to plough the fields, then there will be a harvest in the right season. The strength of the working animals helps the farmers to get their work done and so secure food for their future. There is a lovely synergy between the farmer and his animals. They both depend on each other. I couldn't help relating the huge impact of Covid-19 on the ability of people to work at the moment. Although we are slowly moving down the stages of Lockdown, there are still many millions of people who are not able to work. And when there is no one working, then families are experiencing 'empty' mangers. Let us pray that people are soon able to get back to work and provide the 'harvests' for their families. Living in Grace D3LM3