Wednesday, December 23, 2015
11th Truth of Christmas- Life is Worth Celebrating
Life is such a gift.
Life is such a wonderful, precious gift that we often take for granted. We are so blessed here in the United States. Generations of our citizens have grown up with little fear or doubt that they will be able to grow up and live out their days as they see fit.
When I was younger, my family sponsored a little girl in Indonesia. Her letters always gave us such a unique look into her culture and worldview. However, there was one letter that really stood out to me. She was telling us of her future plans and hopes, but the wording she used was what struck me in my heart.
She said, "if I grow up, I want to become..."
If? If I grow up? There was even a question in her mind as to whether or not she would be able to grow up to adulthood and have a future. Despite my young age, I was incredibly impacted by this statement. That precious child halfway across the world didn't know whether or not she would live long enough to grow up, something that I took for granted every day. That letter awakened me to the truth that life is so precious, and it should never be taken for granted.
Right now I rather feel like my world is going crazy with death. I see it everywhere on the news-"Another Cop shot", "Terrorists kill hundreds in Lebanon and Paris", "So and so diagnosed with terminal cancer". Our own culture seems to be obsessed with death and darkness, idolizing it in a way that makes me sick. Take one quick look at the titles of many current TV shows, and you'll want to vomit at how death is glorified.
Now that I am an adult, I find myself asking some pretty scary questions. "What would I do if a crazy person starts shooting up the mall when I'm out shopping with a friend? What if I get on an airplane that is shot out of the sky? What if I get diagnosed with a terminal illness?"
As it is with any period in history, it is a scary time to be alive. But should that stop me from celebrating the life that I have been given?
The awesome beauty of life goes even deeper than this world. As a Christian, I have received the gift of eternal life, life after death. Death does not have a hold over me, it does not get the final word. I have this gift, because God sent Life down to us in the form of His Son, Jesus the Messiah.
Death came as a result of sin. After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, living creatures began to die. Life was no longer unending, it was on a timeline in which Death would have the final word. But God intervened, because God is Life, and all true life is of Him.
God made a bridge over Death that brought us back to Him, the Giver of Life. That bridge was Jesus, who defeated Death at the cross and gave us the option of eternal life instead of eternal death.
Jesus did the hardest work, dying on the cross and defeating eternal Death. But we have a part to play as well, one that begins here and now in the physical. We can defeat death here on earth on a daily basis.
How? By celebrating and protecting life.
I was discussing terrorism with my brother the other day. It is the crowning achievement for a terrorist to kill other human beings, and maybe even himself in the process. They find victory in Death, a concept with is directly from the Devil. How do you defeat those terrorists? By preserving life, the lives they would love to take. Every government, soldier, first-responder, and every citizen who take action to preserve life are defeating terrorism and death.
There are other ways to defeat death. Death is not just a sudden change of address from the physical earth to either heaven or hell. Death happens slowly in many subtle ways throughout our lives. Hopes die, marriages die, joy dies. When something beautiful and God-sanctioned dies, it is a sad day. Living in the truth of the life that we have been given in Christ can defeat Death on a daily basis. And, the hope is, that when others look at us they will ask, "Where does your hope come from?" By living our lives in the victory that Jesus has provided, we can point others towards the Savior and eternal life.
Christmas is about bringing life; it began with the earthly life of Jesus, which in turn brought eternal life to mankind. This is a season for life.
I pray that we all may embrace the beauty that is life, both physical and spiritual. I pray that we may protect life since it is of God. I pray that we may fight for life in our day by day journey on this planet. And I look forward to the day when we the Church are all in heaven together and receive the Crown of Life.
This Christmas, let us celebrate life.
Catch up on the rest of the Twelve Truths of Christmas - Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, and Day 10. Join me tomorrow for the final truth - Emmanuel, God With Us
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