Ginger is one of the scents of Christmas. Along with cinnamon and pine, it never fails to communicate Christmas to me. Ginger has a long history of nontraditional medicinal use. It can be used to prevent morning sickness, motion sickness, and even skin cancer in mice, according to one study. Another I read about found that ginger actually killed ovarian cancer cells. Like most folk medicine, all claims are dubious, but they’re usually ancient. I’ll sometimes buy raw ginger root with a sugar coating at a local health food store. Another claim that I can affirm is that ginger has “warming” properties. People would eat it or make a tea out of it on cold days. All the scents of Christmas are warm, but ginger stands out for me. I’m really not sure if my body temperature goes up after eating it, but there are other, nonphysical ways foods like ginger seem to warm us.
The gospel is the account of how God saves those who trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. Ginger reminds me of the gospel. (I guess lots of things do, especially Christmas things.) We live in a cold world, even if the outside temperature isn’t as low as it is these days, the spiritual temperature can chill us to the bone. Nothing fights this chill like the message of hope we call the gospel. Gospel means good news and it is. I suppose I’m in a unique position to testify to the amazing power of the gospel to warm our souls. As a church pastor, I get to see the best and the worst of people. When I’m facing a blizzard of the worst, the gospel itself never fails to help me through it. The gospel is bigger and better than the church. It’s bigger and better than all religion and moralism. It the shining star of Christmas Eve and the brilliant sunrise of Easter morning.
PRAYER: Lord, I’m cold today. Your people and your church are cold more often than we’d like. This world sometimes seems permanently cold, like we’re stuck in a spiritual ice age. Help me fan into flame the gift of Your gospel in my heart. Melt away the sin and sadness. Like ginger to our souls, warm us by reminding us of Your love. Amen.