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A Curse,
A Cradle and A Cross

Reflections on the Christmas Story



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David Langford,  Ph. D.

David Langford serves as minister and elder with the Quaker Avenue Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas. He has received the Master’s degree in Communication and the Ph.D. In Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.


A Curse, A Cradle and a Cross


       Strangely, the celebration of Christmas has been controversial in many churches. Indeed, some denominations view Christmas as a borderline taboo—not a proper subject for devotion or reflection. It is for these reasons that I am delighted to see this book of Christmas essays by David Langford. Not only does it correct this regrettable fallacy, it provides deep understanding and profound insights into the true meaning of Christmas well worth reading by Christians of any stripe.

       The “true meaning of Christmas”. How many times have you heard that tired phrase? It usually signals a call to reject the commercialism, frenzy, and hype infecting the season and to celebrate instead the spirit of giving, peace, goodwill, and love for our fellow man. I suppose this perennial plea can have some positive benefits. But as Langford shows in these rich and perceptive essays, such a call is superficial, trite, and misses the cosmic significance of Christmas by the distance from Bethlehem to Golgotha.

       Langford unwraps for us a Christmas package that opens much like a Russian doll. Insight follows insight, and just when you think there are no more to be revealed, yet another gem is exposed. The real wonders of Christmas are found in the fact that God has conquered pagan festivals by making them serve Christ; in the “yes” of a simple Jewish maiden who believed and obeyed, knowing it would mean her shame and dishonor; in the dedication of her husband who willingly shared that dishonor and served the mother of our Lord with incredible devotion; and most of all, in the willingness of God to trade the riches of heaven for the sweltering poverty of Nazareth and endure incredible agony for the love he bore his creation.

       Lest you think Langford kills the wonder of Christmas by disparaging the tinsel and glitter and the superficial wishes for peace and goodwill, let me reassure you. These essays will actually expand your delight in the season and increase awe of the Christmas miracle. They lead us beyond the wide-eyed wonder of a child gazing at a Christmas tree to the wider wonder of God’s love engraved before creation into the foundations of the universe.

       I think the overall effect of this book is well summarized in a phrase from the essay “Angels Watching Over Me.” In this piece Langford tells us that, “A bright light lit up the Judean hillside and changed forever how a few shepherds would see their world.” I believe this book can do the same for you. It will brighten your life with the dazzling light of the Incarnation, which can revolutionize your worldview, bathing every act, every word, every thought, and every person you encounter with the glow of God’s holy love. This book can help you make Christmas a year-round activity.

Thomas Williams

Author of: “The Heart of the Chronicles of Narnia”



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