A devotional / inspirational message from Bob Creamer - December 2019

Do You See It?

Can you see it? The shadow over the group of people at the manger, right there amidst the excitement and wonder. Do you see it? Maybe not, because we are usually good at denying things we do not wish to see. We want only the good news and the fun stuff. During this season people try to party themselves into the "Christmas spirit." It goes something like this: "Look at us. We're happy. Have a drink with us. Cheers! We're having fun....aren't we?"
The whole scenario is like a temporary fix. Then when the holiday season ends, there is emptiness because people have not dealt with the real problems. They have simply covered them up with the business and momentary thrills.
Thus the shadow is missed. The dark spots and negative aspects are hidden by the lights and squeaky-clean nativity scenes.
The reality is that Jesus' birth took place in a common stable, filled with real dirt, real smells and real labor pains. There was real hate in Jerusalem and real sin in Bethlehem. Jesus did not come to obscure those things. He came to deal with them.
Look again. Do you see the shadow falling over the animals and then across the mother and tiny baby. It's the shadow of a cross. A shadow that followed Jesus through out His earthy life and ministry, culminating at a notorious place of execution called Golgotha. Jesus Christ was born to die. The shadow was part of the plan.
It is a familiar story, but if we do not let the Christ-child climb out of our glittery manager scenes into the center of our lives, we have no hope. Some occasional thrills, but no hope. This Christmas, let's get to know who that child really is and what He did, after leaving the dirty stable. He died a brutal death arose from a dark tomb, and then ascended back to the Father in heaven to give us real life in and beyond this dark world. That means there is hope. THERE IS HOPE.
Bob Creamer
Encourage One Another
1 Thessalonians 5:11