I keep a box of mementoes in a drawer. Every so often, it is good to look at poems or wise sayings that teach the grace of God in our lives. But I carry one of those keepsakes in my Bible: a ticket for a gondola ride.
In 1997, John and I went on a short-term mission trip to Brazil. Our group worked in Sao Paulo for four weeks, and then, in October, we went to Rio de Janeiro to see the sights, guided by the local missionary couple.
I have always had a great fear of heights over openness. After a lot of coaxing from John and the others, I gingerly walked into the cable car for the gondola ride to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. While the others enjoyed looking down over the bay and the city, I stood stiffly and looked up at the cable. On the top of the mountain is the huge statue called Christ the Redeemer.
When we got to the top, a thunder and lightning storm struck. To wait out the torrential rain, we sat on benches in a pagoda-like structure. Within minutes, the electricity went off. We were all sitting quietly in the dark when one in our group started singing a Christmas carol. My fear of the cable ride left me momentarily, and I, too, started singing from memory. Soon, others gathered around to join in the singing. Though they could not understand the English language, they recognized the tunes, and they sang in Portuguese. The harmony was beautiful. It was a wonderful witness to be proclaiming the Saviour's coming to earth through singing the carols. When the lights came back on, there were lots of smiles and positive head-shaking.
Matthew 1:21 – She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Indeed, I am so thankful today that I went on that cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, even though I am still afraid of heights. After these many years, I remember the thrill of expressing praise to God for His Son, Jesus, through singing Christmas carols in October.
Do we take every opportunity available to us to witness for Jesus to friends and neighbours? Though the message on COVID-19 changes each day as we listen to the news, the message of Jesus coming to earth to redeem man from sin never changes, and provides hope for us, regardless of the news.
Prayer: Father, help us to witness to others the good news of the salvation found in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "When He Cometh" (Lyrics)