A devotion by Pastor Ralph J Mineo
There’s an old short story I think about every Christmas.
One night, a young child was afraid of the dark. “Mommy, Mommy,” the child called out. The mother quickly went to the child’s room. She tried to comfort her child, and eventually said, “Remember this: God is with you.” The child whimpered and whined: “But… but… but I want someone with skin on.”
The child wanted, even needed, a real person!
God knows our fears and struggles. God knows all the needs of the human heart. God knows our need to be cared for and loved by someone with skin on!
So, God sent his Son, Jesus! This is the foundation of the Christmas message, the annual celebration we’re so close to.
Jesus is God with skin on! Jesus is one of us. Jesus left his heavenly throne of glory and power to become human, eventually to sacrifice his life for our salvation.
At the beginning of John’s Gospel account, we hear: “The Word became flesh.” The foundation of our faith is that Jesus is truly divine and truly human. Jesus is God with flesh. Jesus is God with skin on.
So, when our souls whimper and whine, when we’re needy to the depths of our being, when we’re afraid of the darkness, God has given us someone to turn to: God with skin on, Jesus.
Christians are called to be the “Body of Christ” in the world around us. Christians are called to embody the presence of God. Together, as disciples of Jesus, we are God with skin on.
We do that by the way we live, by serving others, by bringing God’s love to others. Our calling as believers is to comfort others in their times of darkness. This comfort isn’t always having answers or advice. Very often it means being present with others in their darkness. Sometimes it’s called the “ministry of presence.” We could also call it “the work of God, with skin on.”
This kind of ministry, being there for others, often takes planning. It always takes energy. Why not plan today to be God with skin on for someone in darkness!
What a holy thing to remember this Christmas and always: God planned for us. God’s eternal energy and love became flesh for us and for our salvation. Rejoice! Spread this joy – to the world!