“…You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger…” Luke 2:12
This time of year brings to mind so many memories! Events such as family gatherings, class parties, school and church plays and cantatas, each brings a rush of fond memories. In fact, many stanzas that resonate often in my mind are songs that were part of a church choir cantata or one of the many Christmas productions I have directed throughout the years. But there is one that stands out most in my mind.
Let’s revisit the scene — The play was a broadway style musical. Time frame was just after World War II when so many people still had little money in the bank. Among the ’40’s musical pieces, we see a cast doing their final shopping rush on Christmas Eve. And one of the main characters, the local shop owner, has lost hope in the true meaning of Christmas. But he ends up at the live nativity outside his store and comes face-to-face with his own life. The song sung during his heart change is one that to this day reverberates in my own heart. “Start at the Manger”. This song paints a beautiful picture of the scarlet thread of redemption from the manger to the cross.
“Start at the manger on a cold winter night look for the star in the sky then follow its light
It leads to a Savior for a world that is lost. Start at the manger and go to the cross.
Start at the manger at a Child in the hay, the gift of our Father in heav’n, the price He would pay to save all His children no matter the cost.
Start at the manger and go to the cross.
Imagine that you own the wealth of the world, all of its silver and gold. What good will it do when tomorrow arrives and your heart is empty and cold?
Start at the manger, where redemption began where Jesus stepped down from His throne to die as a man.
All of our riches, we will count them as loss if we start at the manger then go to the cross.“
To this day, The Christmas Post is still one of my favorite productions to have been a part of. Not only was it fun with its newsies, ’40’s choreography and costumes, beach balls flying throughout the sanctuary during the shopping rush, and all kinds of fun, but it had an ending that pointed back to the ‘why’ we celebrate Christmas. It was about the Child that would lead us to the cross of salvation.
This Christmas, let’s remember that it is not about trees or lights, presents or food. It’s all about a manger, a Child, a Father and a cross. That night was just the beginning of a love shone to a needy world. A loved wrapped in swaddling clothes and later hung on a tree.
The manger. It’s just the beginning of His story!
“……and a little child will lead them.” Isaiah 11:6