DayBreaks for 12/18/15: There We Leave You
It isn’t too common at Christmas time to speak about the cross. Christmas, it seems, is filled with images of a baby in the manger, adoring wise men, stunned shepherds, a virgin mother and gentle animals with soft sounds and warm breath. We sing Christmas carols that focus on angels, shepherds, wise men and that Baby. It seems that we just can’t get away from that Baby (and, I can’t get too upset about that!)
But Christ didn’t come so that we could have Christmas carols to sing, Christmas fudge or even bright, shiny wrapping paper and ribbons. Christ came not for the manger, but for the cross. He didn’t come to entertain the animals. He didn’t come to resolve the curiosity of the wise men or shepherds – he came to save them from their sins.
The great writer, John Donne, perhaps put it best, when he wrote: “There we leave you in that blessed dependency, to hang upon him that hangs upon the cross, there bathe in his tears, there suck of his wounds, and lie down in peace in his grave, till he vouchsafe you a Resurrection, and an ascension into that kingdom which he hath purchased for you with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. Amen.”
There’s only about a week now until Christmas day will dawn. There’s nothing wrong with the celebration of his birth. As we sit in the shadow of the tree, let us also reflect on the shadow of the cross that lay over the manger.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Almighty God, I pray that we will truly celebrate Christ this Christmas. May we remember that he didn’t come here for his own pleasure, but for our salvation, to die and take away our sin. Help us to remember the cost of Christmas to our Savior. In His name, Amen.
Copyright 2015 by Galen C. Dalrymple.