Religion Today: Revisiting the Cross at Christmas
Guest Writer Spotlight: Revisiting the Cross at Christmas – By Richard Lewis
I asked a pastor friend of mine what percentage of people struggle with the holiday season. His answer of 30% surprised me and then I spoke with others who felt that his 30% estimate was probably way too low.
It seems a part of this is unmet and perhaps unrealistic expectations. We are enticed into the materialistic aspects of Christmas and when the packages are all unwrapped and the Christmas meal is eaten, we may be overwhelmed with disappointment. The Christmas we had envisioned did not arrive. The “Peace on Earth” we sang about was not realized among our families, friends and co-workers.
SEE OTHE RECENT DEVOTIONALS BY RICHARD LEWIS:
Perhaps this year has been one of loss for you. It may be a family member or loved one’s passing that has made the year and especially the holidays, difficult for you. This will be the first Christmas without that loved one. Perhaps harsh words were said to another that could not be easily repaired and you lost a valued friend of many years. Have you ever been blamed for something that you did not do? Have you ever cried to the point of wondering if there were any more tears left to cry?
There are often things of great loss or pain in our lives. There are things that happen for which there is no human solution we can engineer.
I think that Christmastime is a time when we need to look to the cross of Jesus. The angels sang a heavenly chorus, the star guided others to a stable and a little baby was born in a manger, but all these events would intersect some 30+ years later at the cross.
The crossbeam reaches horizontally signifying the importance of and God’s concern for our horizontal relationships on earth. The vertical piece element reminds us that God has reached down from Heaven to bridge the gap between God and Man.
We must take our sin, our tears and our losses to the foot of the Cross and leave them there.
1 Peter 2:24 “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Richard Lewis is a graduate of Arizona State University (Advertising) and California Baptist University (Computer Information Systems). Richard and his wife Sue met while they served as staff members at Campus Crusade for Christ for 8 years in the 1970’s. Richard served in the Campus Ministry at University of Texas at El Paso, Louisiana Tech and at the International Headquarters in San Bernardino, California.
Following their ministry in Campus Crusade Richard was the owner and manager of a bicycle shop in Riverside California for 19 years. After retraining in the computer field at California Baptist University, Richard worked as a Information Systems contractor and employee at Boeing for 17 years.
Richard has written over 150 published articles in Information Systems and Computing publications including Windows Magazine and Windows Scripting Solutions. He has also served in a leadership role as a Deacon and Elder in several churches as well as being a meditation presenter and Men’s Ministry coordinator.
Richard has written hundreds of meditations and devotionals that have been used in church and small group meetings. Many of these have been published in The Upper Room and Racers For Christ publications and on their web sites.
In 2021, Richard published a collection of his devotionals. These are available in a Kindle and paperback format on Amazon (ISBN 979-8705738878) “Life Stories to Uplift and Encourage”.
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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.