DayBreaks for 12/18/19: Illuminated Cats and Despairing Prophets
In his book Horns and Halos, Dr. J. Wallace Hamilton tells about one of the weirdest auction sales in history. It was in Washington, D.C., in 1926, where 150,000 patented models of old inventions were declared obsolete and placed on the auction block. Prospective buyers and on-lookers chuckled as item after item was put up for bid; such as a “bed-bug buster” or an “illuminated cat” that was designed to scare away mice. Then there was a device to prevent snoring. It consisted of a trumpet that reached from the mouth to the ear; and was designed to awaken the snorer and not the neighbors. The list was a long one, indeed!
This auction of old patent models was worth at least 150,000 laughs; but if looking a little deeper, those 150,000 old patent models also represent 150,000 broken dreams – a mountain of disappointments.
It may seem strange to talk about broken dreams and disappointment this close to Christmas. After all, this is the season to be jolly. But it’s not jolly for everybody, is it? For those who have lost loved ones this is the loneliest time of the year. And in a world that glorifies materialism, those who are struggling financially may find it to be most disappointing.
John the Baptist knew about disappointment. John is in prison, knowing his future isn’t looking too bright, and he’s looking for a sign – that the long-awaited Messiah has really arrived. That’s ironic, don’t you think? John the Baptist is the one who first proclaimed his coming, who baptized him, who witnessed the Spirit descend on him and heard the voice from heaven. But much has happened to John since we last saw him preaching and baptizing people in the wilderness, and now his heart is cast down.
You, too, may be cast down, but listen to the words of Jesus in response to John’s question: And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” – Luke 7:22-23 (ESV)
Only by the power of the Incarnate one do such things happen. You may not be able to see an appealing future. You may feel you can’t take one more step. You may be diseased inside and out, deaf to words of encouragement, dead on your feet and surrounded by bad news. Jesus can deal with those and far more. Let us not be ashamed to own him this season.
PRAYER: Lord, for all who struggle this Christmas, let them find hope in the Incarnate One and his immense power and great compassion. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>