A Cradle and A Cross
Reflections on the Christmas Story
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.
Curse, A Cradle and a Cross
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.
Author of: “The Heart of the
Chronicles of Narnia”
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