The Nutcracker – Four Realms / Four Reminders

Day 4 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

DAY 4 - Remember To Care 


The holidays are filled with parties and presents and family and friends. It’s a season of joy…for most people. In The Nutcracker, Clara and her family have recently lost their mother, and everyone else’s Christmas cheerfulness only reminds them of their emptiness. That’s true in our world too – for too many, Christmas is a time of sadness. The happiness of others only seems to accentuate their pain. 


Incredibly, Scripture speaks to that issue, and the Christmas story provides a cure for darkness and sorrow.


Elizabeth’s husband, Zechariah, was a good and honorable man, but like most guys (then and now), he was a little thick-headed! For doubting the angel’s pronouncement that his wife would no longer be barren, good old Zech was made a mute for 9 months and 8 days. But on that 8th day, his tongue was loosed and they couldn’t shut him up! 


Zechariah began to prophesy about his son, John, and then about the coming Messiah. And buried deep in the prophesy is this nugget, “By the tender mercy of God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Something was coming that would bring light to those in darkness! But who?


On the 8th day after Mary gave birth, she and Joseph presented their child, Jesus, in the temple. In the temple was a man named Simeon, an old man who waited his whole life for the coming Messiah. Taking Jesus in his arms, Simeon did some prophesying of his own! Listen to his 8th day words: “Master, you are now dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation…a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”


John’s gospel joins the two stories of John the Baptist and Jesus’ calling: “God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” 


The cure for the darkness is the light of Jesus! And, as his emissaries here on Earth, it’s our job to bring that light to those who are shrouded in darkness. This Christmas, take this high calling seriously – bring the light of Jesus to those wallowing in sorrow.