December 23

Written by Bill Grandi on December 23rd, 2019

As it gets closer to Christmas my workload also amps due to the church serving breakfast on Christmas morning and also handing out at least 30 bags of groceries which will all be put together today. (There are actually 60 since not all the food will fit into one bag). So I am going to “cheat” again by using my #ChristmasChallenge devotion here.

My title for this devotion is Manger vs Cross.

I read the following quote:

The birth of Christ brought God to us;

The cross of Christ  brings us to God.

Growing up you really only think of Christmas-besides the whole Santa Claus and gift thing-as the occasion to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We like the story of the baby in the manger. It fits our “meek and mild” picture of Jesus. It fits our Away in a Manger and Silent Night theme.

But as C.S.Lewis says in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which I just finished reading again), “There is deeper magic here.” What is seen on the surface is just that: the surface. There is so much more to see and learn. There is so much more at work than just the birth; there is also the vision of the cross. Without doubt Jesus came with the specter of the cross in His sights. Phil.2 even tells us that. Jesus reminded His disciples over and over that the Son of Man must suffer and die.  The cross of Christ is always there. It is through the cross, and the cross only, that we find our way to God. It is only through the blood of Jesus that salvation is found.

But it is through the birth of Jesus as a baby, as God made flesh, that it all begins.  The quote again:

The birth of Christ brought God to us;

The cross of Christ brings us to God.

“Father, thank you for that truth. May this Christmas season take on extra meaning because it is more than a baby in a manger. It is also that baby on a cross giving Himself up for us.”

 

7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oh, I love this Bill. God bless you for all you do in God’s Kingdom.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    Two distinct events that had to occur for God’s plan of redemption and salvation. What it must have been like for the Creator Himself to come in the form of helpless baby. Then to grow up and find Himself on a cross. Thankful He endured life among us so we could enjoy eternity with Him.

  3. I love that quote so much, Bill, that I wrote it down in order not to forget it. That does give us the whole picture!
    Just an aside, the Narnia Chronicles are still some of my favorite books. Nice to know you’re reading them again!
    Blessings!

  4. floyd says:

    Great quote. The greatest story ever told is the greatest love story ever told.