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More than a babe in a manger


From a wooden manger to a wooden cross, Christ came to earth for the salvation of mankind. Merry Christmas from the Magnolia Tribune.

Most of us have heard the Christmas story — a story of a babe in a manger in Bethlehem. The significance of the story lies not in the birth, itself. Billions of babies have been born over human history. The miracle lies in the child. The first chapter of the gospel of John gives insight into who Jesus was and is:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men…The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-4, 14

The babe in the manger is unlike any other child ever born. He is eternal — present at the foundation of the world. He is divine — a part of the mystery that is the Holy Trinity. He is Creator— the source of life and hope for man. He is the incarnate Word — an expression of God’s truth, grace and love.

Jesus came “not…to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45). He did for mankind what it could not do for itself. He came as an atonement for the sin which justly separates us from a Holy God. (Romans 3:23, 6:23). The Apostle Paul described this truth as a matter of “first importance”:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Jesus’s journey on Earth, from a wooden manger to a wooden cross, was the salvation of mankind, to the glory of God. Just as billions have been born, billions have died. But only Jesus’s death and resurrection conquered the grave for those who cling to the cross.

For thousands of years before Christ came, there was darkness and despair. Sin and shame gripped the hearts of men. Until one holy night, God, in His infinite love, mercy and wisdom, sent His son to save. Jesus is the light of the world and the hope of man.

Chances are you have experienced triumphs this year. Chances are you have experienced some sorrow. You may be surrounded by loved ones. You may be in a moment of solitude or mourning.

In this harried world, it is easy to become distracted. It is easy to lose eternal perspective. As we take a moment to pause this Christmas season, let us not forget the amazing grace of God, who “so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

Let us echo the praise of the heavenly host who at the birth of Jesus Christ, sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2:14).

A Point of Privilege

If you are reading this, thank you for your support of Magnolia Tribune in 2023. We launched in January of this year with a simple mission: To Tell Mississippi’s True Story. Part of that mission includes providing balance to a media landscape that most Americans believe is deeply biased.

Magnolia Tribune is reader supported news by Mississippians for Mississippians. Because of generous support from readers like you we were able to accelerate our growth and impact this year. Our team has grown to include four dedicated full-time reporters and over a dozen contributors with a wide range of expertise and interests.

We’ve been able to produce over 1,500 pieces of original content this calendar year. That content has been seen over 6 million times, both on our site at MagnoliaTribune.com and through republication on outlets across the state. Our subscriber list now eclipses 70,000 Mississippians and our team is putting together six email news updates a week.

Our analysis of this year’s election was the most accurate in the state, with our polling cited by The Washington Post, Forbes, NBC News, MSNBC, Fox News, The Hill and others.

We recently launched a new feature called Magnolia Mornings. Magnolia Mornings compiles top stories from across Mississippi and the nation into one digestible article each morning, saving readers who want to get caught up quickly time and effort. New mediums of distribution, including an app and a podcast will be launched in early 2024.

Our team has also steadily worked to expand the scope of our coverage to include business, sports, and culture coverage. We have been blessed to have veteran journalists and writers like Phil Hardwick, Parrish Alford, and Susan Marquez join the team. More additions are coming.

None of this would be possible without people like you who see and support the vision of Magnolia Tribune. Thank you for reading, sharing and becoming a part of our community.

May God’s peace shine upon you and yours, and may He bless you richly in the New Year. Merry Christmas!

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