December 20, 2021

Don’t Stop at the Manger

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6


If you’re a Christian, then you probably have a nativity scene displayed somewhere in your home each Christmas. It’s a reminder that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season. But as you celebrate His birth, don’t stop at the manger. Your Christmas will be even more meaningful by also celebrating why He came and why He is coming again.


“a child is born”

The manger is not a place to stop, but a place to pause. We pause to consider the miracle of Immanuel—God with us (7:14). Just think about what Jesus left. While His earthly life began in Bethlehem, He has existed from eternity past. The child in the manger is the Word, who spoke the world into existence (John 1:1-4). Yet, He left the glory of His throne in Heaven to be born in a humble manger.


“a son is given”

If you stop at the manger, you forget to celebrate the sacrificial love of the Cross. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16). We can become so familiar with this verse that we forget the magnitude of what it says. Jesus was born to die. There was no “Plan B.” God’s plan for salvation was to give His Son as the sacrifice for the sins of the world—for your sin.


and the government will be on his shoulders.”

If you stop at the manger, you fail to anticipate Jesus’ return. Our world is upside-down. Wrong is called right, and injustice goes unpunished. But the Prince of Peace is coming to rule and to reign. So let Isaiah’s words fill you with hope. “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousnessforever” (v7).


So yes, we should put out our nativity scenes and celebrate Jesus’ birth. Just remember, that child in the manger is also “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). And He is the One who will reign forever as the “Prince of Peace.” Make Christmas more meaningful this year by celebrating why Jesus came, and by living in anticipation of His return. Come quickly Lord Jesus!