A Gospel Spice Christmas



Once the shepherds had seen Jesus, “they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (Luke 2:17-18). The shepherds told everyone what they had seen. Sharing the spice of the gospel becomes inevitable when that spice has transformed your life. The shepherds spread the spice from the manger to the town: what does that mean for us?

First, God invites us to follow the trail of glory from the fields to the manger: He beckons us to follow the smell of the spices all the way into the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home, the place of fellowship and relationship, even spiritually speaking. God wants us to experience the intimacy of revelation at the manger. Now, I need to share with you a little play on words that works only in French. In my native tongue, “manger” (pronounced [mɑ̃ʒe]) literally means, “to eat.” That manger, or feeding trough, normally held food for animals, but on Christmas it holds food for our very spirit. 

Our spirit is that place within where we commune with God’s Spirit in Christ. We humans are beckoned into a level of intimacy with God that is only possible because we are created Imago Dei, in the image of God Himself (Genesis 1:26). He offers to come dwell within our spirit by His Spirit through Christ (Romans 8:14-16; 1 Corinthians 3:16). It all happens at the manger. Christ Incarnate dwells in the manger, food for our spirit. He is indeed the bread of life; He gives indeed His blood of the new covenant (Luke 22:17-20). First, we are invited to the table of the new covenant by the bread and the blood, and this table is laid at the manger—the place where we eat. When we are sealed by the Holy Spirit at salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14), and when we grow in the Spirit throughout a lifetime of ever-deepening Christlikeness (2Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 2:2-3, 1 John 1:7-9), we partake of the manger. We personally experience Psalm 119:103: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, O Lord, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

And then, secondly, because we share in the nature of the Son through a personal relationship with Him, God invites us to become that trail of spices to help others follow the smell all the way into the kitchen (Matthew 28:18-20). The food-manger lays in the kitchen, where intimacy and fellowship with God is our promise in Christ, and where we are called to beckon others to taste and see the goodness of the Lord. We who are in Christ are called to share Christ, emulating the shepherds everywhere we go. 

You have tasted the spice of the gospel by sharing in the shepherds’ experience of the Eder manger; will you now go and tell others?