His Return Trip

Thursday, December 5, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Infant Holy Infant Lowly"1 (Lyrics)

My brother-in-law, James Cameron, was dining in a restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland, when he felt that the service was not as good as it should be.

"I should tell you," he warned, "that my initials are J. C., and I was born on Christmas Day."

"Oh", she said, unimpressed. "Then you will not be looking forward to Easter, will you?"

For probably the only time in his life, James was speechless.

The waitress was right. There is no Christmas without Easter, no manger without the cross, and no holy Child without the resurrection.

For thousands of people, the only Jesus they know is a child in a manger, but like everyone else in the nativity scene, Bethlehem was just one stop on His return trip. Thousands more believe that He completed His return trip when He returned with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth. But they are wrong.

His return trip began and ended in glory.

John 1:1,14a – In the beginning the Word [Jesus] already existed. The Word was with God and was God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. (NLT)

"Became human!" What an astounding claim. That He would take on our form, then endure unbelievable pain for us is almost beyond belief. But not quite. Not when we reach out to Him and invite Him into our hearts. Then we know that He conquered death and returned to paradise, that He will be coming again, and that in the meantime, His Spirit lives within us and will never leave us nor forsake us.

All this, and more, is in the Christmas story.

Prayer: Dear Lord and heavenly Father, as we celebrate the birth of Your Son, our Redeemer, may we also remember the full story, even as we enjoy the holidays, the reunions, the gifts, the food. "O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in. Be born in us today." In the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Robert Sutherland <camerland48@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    An apt reminder Robert.

    A great message and so very well expressed!

    Lovely Robert. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Thank you, Robert.
    Well said.

    Good one Robert thanks.

    Amen to that!
    Love the waitress’ response, by the way.

    Dear Robert How nice to see your name at the end of the cleverly written devotional this morning.

    Very well said. I am forwarding this to many who are not Presbyterian and some who are not Christian. Thank you and have a very beautiful and meaningful Christmas.

    Dear Robert,
    I really enjoy your devotional “His Return Trip”.
    Thank you.

    HI Robert,
    I appreciate what you are doing and applaud your efforts.

    Just a quick note to say I great appreciated your devotion today – timely and meaningful. I wish you a Christmas filled with the gifts of God’s grace and love.

    Hi Robert – thanks for today’s PCC Devotional. I am in extreme grief right now and, as I sat there reading your Devotional, I laughed out loud – more than once, as I went back to re-read it – and laugh some more.

    Dear Robert Sutherland,
    A quick, sharp waitress, wasn’t she! God bless her, she had the whole truth.
    Thank you too for writing the whole truth.
    May God bless you with many such experiences to use as ideas to begin devotionals of the Word.

    Robert: Thank you for your words today. Blessings.

    Good message Robert.
    I’m from Glasgow, so I’ve known for a long time that Glasgow ladies such as Waitresses or tramcar conductors (When Glasgow had a Tramcar system), were renowned for their pithy banter and rejoinders.
    Commonly heard were the dreaded words to the person standing nearest the door of an overcrowded tram on it’s final run of the evening…. “Come on, get aff.”

    What an excellent devotional, Mr. Sutherland. Thank you and a blessed Christmas to you and your family.

    What a sense of humour tied in with truth!


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