“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV
At a recent wake, an interesting conversation about death and afterlife took place. People were reflecting on their own mortality, but it was obvious they had no real understanding of eternity. Their comments tiptoed around what happens after death and those with minimal church experience convinced themselves that they will go to heaven because, as they suggested, “they are basically good”.
Reflecting about death six weeks before Christmas seems out of place. Christmas links us to our eternity. It reminds us that Jesus’ was born to die for humanity’s future. His birth, life, death, and resurrection point the way to eternity with the Father. At Christmas we speak of a special kind of hope, peace, joy and love. Those who believe in Jesus receive these gifts that help them live in this world while waiting for eternity. Without Christmas we were all lost to the evil one’s plans to separate us from the promises of God.
The buying and receiving of gifts can wrongly become the focus of Christmas instead of being thankful for God’s gift of His Son. Paul encouraged the churches to give financial gifts to the believers in need in Jerusalem and stressed that their gifts were to be voluntary and motivated by earnest love. We can apply this same lesson to our own lives by showing our love for our family and friends, but as believer’s we can give the greatest gift; Jesus’ message of redemption and salvation.
Christians believe that death is not the end of our existence yet many struggle to share this truth with others. Funerals are an awkward time to share the salvation message. No one wants to hear their loved one will not be going to heaven just because they were “good”. However, as we prepare for the upcoming season, we must find a way to share the WHY of Christmas. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NIV
It is God’s will that believers share the gospel message to all who don’t know Jesus as saviour. We should ask for wisdom, discernment, and courage to join His mission to tell the world WHY Christmas is the greatest gift we can receive. Don’t wait until you are standing around with others reminiscing about a good friend. Share the truth now so your family and friends can wait with you for Jesus’ return.