I probably have a dozen devotional guides in my office. Some are well known (Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost for His Highest”), some offer two thoughts a day (Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening”) and others require “deep thinking” (Foster and Smith’s “Devotional Classics”). But an old favorite is Mrs. Charles Cowman’s “Streams in the Desert.”
She and her husband were missionaries in the Orient. She compiled this book from various collections she gathered over the years. It is a very popular devotional guide. I understand it has had 19 editions printed.
Today is the day before Christmas and her entry for Dec. 25th caught my eye. She was referencing Matt.1:23 and the term “Emmanuel”- God with Us. She mentions that a Christmas card was published with the title, “If Christ Had Not Come.” The artwork on the card featured a pastor who fell into a deep sleep in his office on Christmas morning. Apparently his dream brought him to a world into which Jesus had never come.
“In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared.
A ring at the doorbell and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. As he reached the home he sat down and said, ‘I have something that will comfort you.’ But as he opened his Bible to look at a familiar promise, he noticed the Bible ended with Malachi and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation. He could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.
Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of glorious resurrection, no open heaven, but only ‘dust to dust, ashes to ashes’ and one long eternal farewell. He realized at length that ‘He had not come’ and he burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.
Suddenly he woke with a start and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by:
O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels
O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”
Mrs. Cowman is so right to acknowledge…. HE HAS COME! (Luke 2:10-11) Our Bible has a New Testament. The Christ child was born. The new covenant has been sealed by His death, burial and resurrection. Let’s celebrate that thought all week long!!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel