Christmas is coming next week. We've been in the deepest part of the Christmas season.
Have you ever thought “If there is no Christmas, what would it be like?” I asked this question at a Bible study in Rochester. About 10 women with small children answered to my question. Would you also think about this for a while?
1. “If there is no Christmas, what would you feel like?”
Answers I got are: I miss presents but no shopping hustle, no Christmas decorations nor lighting, no parties, no after Christmas sales, no Christmas Coffret, no holiday for family reunion. The season would be only dark and cold, not much hope and joy. Sad because no Christmas music anywhere. No Christmas trees, no Santa Clause, no reindeer, no stockings, no presents for children. Other said a negative impact in the economical effect. Without Christmas, all these things would be missing. And many other things would not exist. Christmas sure is a joyful time for everyone.
2. The second question, “if there is no Christmas, what would our world be like?”
Christmas means a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ... if there is no Christmas, meaning if Jesus would not have been born, what would our world be like?”
A. No Bible (New Testament), no churches... no cathedrals in every city in Europe. No religious arts- paintings, sculptures, or architectures. No classic music by Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, and all other composers supported by the church. Since the history and culture in Europe are based on Christianity, none of them would exist. No Christian schools, universities, hospitals including Mayo Hospital, and the list goes on and on...
B. If no Christmas, human history would be different. Jesus Himself is the history.
BC= Before Christ
AD= Anno Domini (Latin), means the year of our Lord. So, coming year 2017 is the year of our Lord Jesus Christ-2017... Jesus came to this world 2017 years ago. And if He would be living on earth He would be 2017 years old. Jesus spread the history in half, before and after. Jesus Himself is the history of humankind.
C. Spiritually, no one would have been saved through Jesus if no Christmas. Billions of people in the whole world, and for the 2000 years of human history, no one ever would have been saved. No one ever had their sins forgiven through Jesus. Think about it this way. The world would be pitch black, isn’t it? Jesus is so important, very significant, and He affects our world even right at this moment. You now see Jesus literally changed the whole world upside down. Pitch black to very bright, darkness to light.
D. We tend to cerebrate Christmas without Jesus, taking him for granted. In Japan most of people do not know Christmas is to cerebrate Jesus’ birth. The people love Christmas season. They enjoy Christmas presents, Christmas parties (mostly drinking), and so-called Christmas cakes- eat a special strawberry short cake on December 24th Christmas eve. Without Christmas cakes and presents, no Christmas celebrated in Japan. However, without Jesus, Christmas is still cerebrated in Japan and also in the United States.
X’mas is wrong way to express because it shows an unknown factor X...it should turn to + , cross of Jesus Christ.
All the above were negative statements, saying “if not, there is no....” Let’s put it to the positive expression.
3. Because Jesus came to earth on Christmas, what have we received?
We got so many different and great things given. What are they?
A. We came to know our Father in heaven. We discovered love of God, and learned to love one another. During the Old Testament time Jewish people did not know true love from God. They obeyed the OT Laws literally, without knowing His love. Jesus came on Christmas day and showed us what God's love is all about. How much God loves everyone; not only Jews, but everyone in the world. Jesus taught us God is love.
John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one, and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Because Jesus came on Christmas day, we were saved through Him. We have joy in our hearts, are relieved from sins because all our sins were forgiven through the cross of Jesus.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) Yes, you are pure white as snow because you are with Jesus. He cleansed your ugly sins that are very dark red. And now you and I are very pure, as white as snow you see now outside... we all are pure before Him. Our sins are forgiven by Jesus, and so we are sinless before Him.
B. We also obtained everlasting life through Jesus our Lord. We got free tickets to heaven...heaven is promised when you decided to believe in Him. Again John 3:16b “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Eternal life starts whenever you started to believe in Jesus, you do not wait until you die, and go to heaven. Right now, here on earth you experience heaven..that is eternal life with Jesus.
C. We all became God’s children, even a wretch like me. Through His mercy, even I became a pastor..it's a miracle. We all became His family, and so having brothers and sisters in everywhere in the whole wide world; in Minnesota, Florida, Arizona, Texas, California, Hawaii, South Carolina, and all other states in the United States. Japan, Korea, China, Europe and all other nations of the whole world, we find God's families. We may have a billion of brothers and sisters in Christ. Because He was born on this Christmas day. “Today in the town of David, the Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord”... the angel proclaimed.
What a wonderful grace we enjoy through Jesus. We can share this good news with others who do not know about Jesus Christ yet. Tell them the true meaning of Christmas where Jesus is centered and cerebrated. Show them that Jesus came to give us joy, love, grace, and forgiveness. Think about so many blessings we have received as just mentioned above. If there is no Christmas, then none of them would be available. But with Jesus born on Christmas day, all of above are given for you. Jesus was born for you.
Bring friends, families, relatives and others to Christmas service next week. Let us cerebrate this Christmas with Jesus in the center.