Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Hebrews 2.18 NRSV)

Dean Lynn Harold Hough of Drew Divinity School was riding on a train some years back, reading Greek tragedies. He came across the story of a god who fell in love with a maiden, and came to visit her. But the god found that she had been in an accident, and was lying beside the road in a pool of blood. The god was repulsed at the sight of blood, and immediately winged his way back to Mt. Olympus, where he could contemplate the human situation.

A god afraid of human suffering. Dean Hough said that he looked out of the train window, watching the telephone poles pass by in the form of crosses...and could not help but contrast the two: the pagan and the Christian faith. Then he remembered the words of a familiar hymn: "There is a green hill far away, Beyond the city wall; Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all." Our God is not afraid of human suffering. He's been there. He's not afraid of blood. He's shed some Himself. In Marc Connelly's play GREEN PASTURES the Lord says: "Even bein' God ain't a bed of roses!"

Christmas is a great season of joy and celebration. Yet, Christ comes to bring us hope as we face the challenges of this world.

Walk with me, Lord Jesus, as I face the challenges of my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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