While getting ready for Christmas and Advent this year, I was looking to see if I had an Advent Devotional that began on November 29th and found I did. Below is the introduction to it that I wrote 22 years ago. Even though it was written so long ago, I found that it was still relevant today, so I decided to share it as is. I hope you find it as relevant as I did. If you’d like a copy of the full devotional, you can download it here:
As Christmas approaches, we are reminded in many ways that it is almost the end of the Millennium. 1999 and then 2000. Many people wonder if this will be the end – the time for the return of Christ. Books are filling the shelves about prophecies and end times. What does the future hold? Will we be ready?
Over this past year I have been reminded in many ways that life is uncertain. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer early this year and has had surgery a few times. The doctors are unsure of what lies ahead for him. My husband was riding his bike early one Saturday morning, a car came up behind him, misjudged and my husband ended up in the Trauma Critical Care Unit at CMC. The doctors didn’t know for two weeks if he would even live and if he did what kind of permanent injuries he ‘d have. A good friend’s sister was diagnosed with cancer last Christmas, within six weeks, she was dead. A young boy, running on the track team, steps off the curb, a car hits him, he dies. The future is uncertain. No one knows what tomorrow holds; no one even knows what the next moment holds. People are worrying if the end will come in a year; for any of us, it may come much sooner.
Many of you may be wondering why I started this with “Merry Christmas. “ It doesn’t sound too Merry so far, but if the truth be known Christmas is far more than ‘merry.’
As I sat in the waiting room at CMC, wondering if my husband would live or die, I knew peace. I knew the peace that comes from knowing your loved one is eternally secure. I knew the peace that comes from knowing your loved one’s faith rested in Jesus Christ his Lord. I knew that whether my husband lived or died he was in his Savior’s hands and that gave me peace.
When I say Merry Christmas, it is because I know why we celebrate. I know that it is not whether I feel happy at this moment or not that counts. I know that we celebrate the greatest gift of all time – Jesus Christ. I know that He – Jesus – was born to come and seek the lost, that He was born to walk among His sheep and call them back to the fold; that He was born to reconcile man to his Creator, that He was born to die and be resurrected so that we might live with Him eternally. I know the truth of Christmas and, in knowing, I have faith, a wonderful gift from God, and with that faith I have the assurance that in both the good and the bad God is with me, for me, and preparing a room for me in His mansion that I may spend eternity glorifying His name.
This Christmas accept the greatest gift ever offered and know that even though life is often full of sorrows, you walk hand and hand with the King Eternal – Jesus Christ.
My prayer is that this study will be used to open eyes to the greatest truth of all time – a baby born in Bethlehem, lived a sinless life, worked miracles, claimed to be the Son of God – the Messiah, was crucified dead and buried and on the third day He rose from the dead, paying the penalty for our sins, bearing the weight of our transgressions, so that we may have life everlasting. This is the truth that sets us free. It doesn’t promise riches, it doesn’t promise fame, it doesn’t promise a problem free life, but what it does promise is reconciliation with God and life everlasting.
The Bible teaches that if we seek we will find, so I encourage you seek with all your heart, pray for faith, and accept the greatest gift ever offered and have a very Merry Christmas.