Originally posted at: https://www.global-teams.net/blog/general/2019/12/06/joy/
T. Rampersad, Unsplash
In our brokenness as humans, we mark time as ‘life (birth) to death’ yet through salvation it is ‘death to life’…eternal life with Christ. A few years ago, I attended a Christmas concert at a church filled with the love of Christ shining through each individual. As I enjoyed the celebration of the birth of Christ, my mind wandered to the hundreds of faces, of all ages, depicted on the backdrop of the stage. Who are they? Why was this backdrop chosen? As the concert concluded, the senior pastor explained that “the faces you see are loved ones that have gone to be with Jesus.” My first thought questioned, “Why, during a celebration of life would we be reminded of the loss of loved ones?” Then a flood of peace filled my heart as the Lord provided me a parallel view of our ‘Life in Christ.’
While the world marches on with a smile at the sight of a newborn baby and mourns at the loss of life on earth, God takes the time to teach us to view both with joy. He demonstrated the joy of new life with the birth of His son in the simplest of dwellings, a child born in a stable. Yet, this birth is the most glorious birth in human history. God is becoming flesh! The one who is from the beginning, who always existed, who created all things, who was and is God, now at Bethlehem becomes flesh! Although Jesus was truly a man, at His glorious birth He did not cease to be God. And yet, “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8 NLT) Did you hear that? God sent the babe in the manger to die for sinners like you and me.
God does great things! His power not only releases us from sin’s captive hold but brings us back to Him. He wipes our slate clean! Whenever you feel uncertain about God’s love for you, remember He loved you even before you turned to Him. God’s ability to restore life is beyond our understanding. Broken bones heal, relationships are mended, and grief is not permanent. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126:5 NLT) Do we not know that God’s great harvest of joy is coming?
So, it is with this insight of ‘life to death’ and ‘death to life’ that I celebrate the coming of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. May He fill your heart with His presence, as the world pauses; as we together celebrate His birth and anticipate His return!