Beyond the Manger

by Dec 14, 2022Holidays

Go to any house décor store and I bet you there is a nativity scene for sale with sweet little baby Jesus in the center. The world seems fixated on the baby Jesus at Christmas time. He is the centerpiece of sculptures, stamps, yard displays, and even shrines.

The irony of this is that while many recognize Him as a baby, only a few recognize Him as their Lord and Savior. They are aware of Christmas, but unaware of their need for Christ. While that may give Christians pause, it also gives us an opportunity.


As believers, we are called to make Jesus widely known; to lead them to the message beyond the manger. However, with all the sights, sounds, and other distractions that come with Christmas, it can be challenging to stay on mission. To stay focused, I try to remind myself each day that the whole reason for Christmas was that it was a part of Jesus’s mission to reconcile people with God.

From Cradle to Cross 

When I see Jesus in the manger, it reminds me that He was on a mission for me and for those to whom I share. He came as a baby to ultimately die for our sins and rise from the dead.

In other words, the cradle (manger) is directly tied to the cross, the instrument on which made possible our reconciliation with God. As 1 Peter 3:18 says:

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.”

He left heaven for earth so that one day when I die and leave earth, I will enter heaven. That was His mission.

The exciting part is that His mission continues, and He has invited me and you to be a part of it. We have the privilege of delivering the gospel, the very message that communicates how to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus.

From Cradle to Crown

So, the cradle (manger) that we see every Christmas is connected to the cross. But not only that, it is connected to a crown. We serve as Jesus’s ambassadors. We represent not the baby in the manger or the suffering martyr on the cross, but the crowned King of the universe.

Because of that, we have His power and His authority granted to us (Acts 1:8). Knowing that He has the power to use us despite our weaknesses, to supernaturally provide us with boldness, and to change the lives of those to whom we speak should give us confidence in the face of any opposition. 

From Cradle to Conclusion

Just as there was a day when Jesus stood before us on Earth, there will be a day we stand before Him in heaven. Everyone I see and talk to will have to stand before Him. This sobering fact helps me to keep evangelism at top of mind. Because when I talk to non-believers, the most important question about them with that day in mind is if they are reconciled with God through Christ. Do they know the man who was born to be our savior?

A final thing I am reminded of is that I will see Jesus face to face. I know my obedience to Him regarding evangelism will be a part of the evaluation (not for entrance to heaven, only faith in Christ merits that, but for reward in heaven). I do not know about you, but when that day comes, I want to hear these 7 words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Nothing else will matter then. And if that is what matters then, it should matter now.

Luke 2:17

As you celebrate the joys of Christmas, follow in the footsteps of the shepherds who first saw Jesus, making Him widely known; to lead them to the message beyond the manger. Stay focused each day that the whole reason for Christmas was that it was a part of Jesus’s mission to reconcile people with God.

Luke says of them, “Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them regarding the child.” Luke 2:17