The Manger As a Metaphor

We decorated our home last weekend at our daughter's insistence. She wants everything Christmas-ified in time for her December 3 birthday so she can revel in a winter wonderland. As I set up our favorite pewter nativity set, with the accompanying crystals and beads, in our blue room, my "peace place"...I was drawn into the scene and pondered the beauty of this timeless collection of characters and their role in our celebration—and in our lives.

I discovered that each figure of the Nativity, from the lowliest to the most revered, represents its own aspect of discipleship.

If we put them all together we can grasp a deeper understanding and a composite of traits that will help to render us true followers of Jesus. I've explored each of these in more depth on my blog, here, along with the matchless words of Neal A Maxwell, one of the modern-day disciples I most admire.




   Jana Winters Parkin is an artist, writer, teacher, and adjunct art professor at UVU. She and her husband have 3 kids and 2 dogs, and she spends every day possible rejuvenating her soul in Utah's glorious mountains. She writes at and exhibits her work at

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