Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thinking About Christmas 100 Years From Now

Christmas means something different to almost everybody.  To the religious, it is a day where we remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  To the non-religious, it may take on the meaning of family time, or a much needed vacation, or good will towards man.  Regardless of which camp you fall into, Christmas means something to most people.  My question to you today is this: what does Christmas mean to you? More importantly, what will Christmas mean to you 100 years from now?  

Certainly when we pass from this life, all things—including Christmas—will come into their full meaning.  100 years from now when you are thinking about the birth of the Savior, what will your thoughts be?  Will they be thoughts of rejoicing or regret?  Will the idea of Christmas 100 years from now be the foundation of all your joy, or the monument of all your ruin?  Puritan Stephen Charnock imagines the thoughts of those immortals in not-so-distant future:

"Do but consider those souls that are in the possession of an unchangeable God, that behold His never-fading glory!  Would it not be a kind of hell to them to have their thoughts starting out to these things, or find any desire in themselves to the changeable trifles of the earth?  Nay, have we not reason to think that they cover their faces with shame, that ever they should have such a weakness of spirit when they were here below, as to spend more thoughts upon them than were necessary for this present life; much more that they should any time value and court themselves above God?  Do they not disdain themselves that they should ever debase the immutable perfections of God, as to have neglecting thoughts of him at any time, for the entertainment of such a mean and inconstant rival?"

Now Charnock is limiting his imagination to the saints in heaven.  What kind of regret and horror can be imagined by those souls in hell whose thoughts turn to this life?  Don't get me wrong, thinking about Christmas rightly doesn't save anybody.  My point is this: God has ordained that Christmas be a monument, at least at this point in human history, to remember the birth of the Savior.  To remember that we need a Savior.  To remember that we were born sinners. To remember that our 'good' works can never earn us access to Father. To remember that apart from the Savior being born, we could never have a Savior who went to the cross.  

Christmas should provoke those types of thoughts in our hearts.  

And the truth of the matter is, we just will all have those thoughts 100 years from now, regardless if we are in heaven or in hell.  We should always live in light of eternity.  We should let the thoughts that we will have 100 years from now govern the thoughts that we have at this very moment. God sent His Son into the world as a testimony of our need for a Savior.  That’s what Christmas means to God.  What does it mean to you?

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”  Matthew 1:21

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