Check your coffee cup!

Published 3:16 pm Friday, January 4, 2019

We made it through the Christmas play at church, the gifts were purchased, wrapped, and distributed, and we had a great time with the kids and grandkids as we enjoyed a glorious Christmas together.  With all that behind us, Gale and I finally found a few days that we could carve out for ourselves, so we packed our bags and headed north.

After leaving rather early and riding for over two hours, we decided to stop and have a late breakfast.  We arrived at a place we often visit as we travel the interstate; we found the chairs on the front porch as always and the checkers ready for any who desired to try to outsmart their opponent.  But rocking and playing checkers was not what we had in mind at the moment; it was time for some country ham and biscuits.

It did not take long to discern that our waitress was less than delighted about being there (or at least, that was the way it appeared), but she took our order and it was not long before a steaming cup of coffee was placed before me.  Just as I was preparing to indulge in the aromatic drink, I happened to take a look at the cup and discovered something that I was not counting on:  a huge pink smudge in the shape of lips.  I was hoping that it was just an old stain from some lady’s lipstick, but I had no interest in consuming something from a vessel with that appearance.  When I brought it to the waitress’ attention I was a little taken by her response:  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t see that.”  Yikes!  Did that mean she grabbed a cup from a pile of unwashed dishes?  Hopefully not, but she kindly replaced it with another cup that at least looked better than the first one.

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That lipstick-stained cup raised some questions, uncertainties, and concerns that dampened my enthusiasm about breakfast.  In these early days of another year we all probably have numerous questions, frightening uncertainties, and valid concerns about what lies ahead.  Most of what is rolling around in our minds is much more complex that merely replacing a disgusting cup with a better looking one.  We look at 2019 knowing that there is much that needs to be fixed while realizing that we have little ability of our own to do so.  It is a comfort, though, to remember that we can trust God to be with us as we face the painful challenges of life.  Every situation becomes more bearable when we remember that Christ was born to give us hope when there was none.

Hopefully all of you had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of Christ and hearing the story about His birth being told in song, sermon, and drama.  But we must never forget that, as glorious as His birth was, His story did not end in the manger where He was born.  As it has been said, the baby became a man and the man became a sacrifice; because of His sacrifice, we have hope and help in the face of uncertainties. 

After Christ grew up and entered into His ministry here on earth, a servant of God that we know as John the Baptist made a powerful statement of recognition concerning the reason for Christ’s coming to earth:  “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29, New International Version).  Because of Who Christ is, we have hope to see us through the uncertainties of life and the promise of eternal life that we could never achieve on our own.