Christmas and Easter: One Reality

10 Dec

049

Jingle bells, shopping, rushing and trying to stay calm! It’s Christmas!

 

Christmas makes no sense.

Yes, that’s what I said.

Christmas makes no sense—especially when certain retailers decide that “Christmas in July” is a great way to boost sales; or when Halloween decorations die a sudden death, giving way to a nod at Thanksgiving; and  then Christmas glitter quickly moves King Turkey out of the picture.

Black Friday too often ushers in a frantic rush with shoving, pushing, and even violence.

Christmas makes sense only when it is seen as part of God’s merciful work of salvation.

Our first sin in Adam and Eve expelled us from a paradise on earth. It broke our wonderful intimacy with God. But he promised a Redeemer. He came as that vulnerable Babe of Bethlehem. He lived with us, completely human and completely divine. He gave witness to the Father’s love. He promised the Holy Spirit. Finally, he died and rose from the dead. And we anticipate his coming at the end of time, when he will judge the living and the dead.

Christmas is our promise of salvation. It is realized when you finally say to Jesus, “I accept you as my Lord and Savior.”

And that, dear friend, is no easy decision. It is a promise to live as Jesus lived on earth, to love others, to live for others, and to live and die for God.

We are faced with both challenge and opportunity.

The Challenge

God calls us to everlasting life.

Heaven will be a state of sheer blessedness. We will be forever intimately united with God and with all the saints of heaven, including all whom we cherished and all whom we tolerated during our life on earth.

Imagine! No pain—only sheer bliss, comfort, and joy. No anxiety or worry or alienation—only peace and belonging. Seeing forever the Face of God, living intimately in the embrace of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

But there is another option that we may choose freely: an eternity without God, an eternity of suffering.

What Can Hell Be Like?

As a child, I was terrified of God. No, I’m not talking about “fear of the Lord.” I’m talking about utter terror of a vengeful God who would cast me into everlasting flames—flames that would forever torture but never kill. I could just hear God saying, “See there! I told you so! Now suffer!”

As I’ve grown older, I see the true torment of hell in this way:

  • Hell is a static state of being—endless nothing.
  • Aloneness will eternally pierce your soul.
  • There will be an unrelenting sense of loss and crushing guilt;      you will know that God did not send you to hell; you chose to be there.      You will realize how foolish it was to take God for      granted—or to have ignored him and his loving call to good and moral      living.
  • You will suffer a never-ending and never-satisfied hunger and      thirst for God, for love, for belonging.

The Opportunity—A New Perspective

The opportunity is to develop an ever-deepening understanding of who we are as creatures of God, our God who becomes, through Jesus, our Father.

  • Find time to be still, alone, to reflect; let God give you      his peace.
  • Let your heart and mind go into the depths of God’s love and      mercy.
  • Let the joy of Mary and Joseph, seep into the depths of your      being.
  • Rejoice with the angels and the shepherds.
  • Walk in the light of the Lord.
  • Put on the armour of divine light; put on Jesus Christ.
  • Remember: Christmas and Easter are One. Christmas points to      Easter and to what comes between.

Be faithful to this daily visit with God. You will come to know and understand his commanding invitation:

Be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10).

And then you will look forward, beyond Easter, to that Second Coming of the Lord—that glorious day when we will at last be with God in body and soul.

And now … Merry Christmas!

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4 Responses to “Christmas and Easter: One Reality”

  1. bertghezzi@cfl.rr.com December 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    One of your best Bert

    • Henry Libersat December 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      Thanks, glad to see you alert and on the move. See you soon.

  2. Mark December 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Henry,
    Thank you for this wonderful Advent meditation! Beautiful and inspiring. I need to be reminded of the joy of taking time to be quiet with God each and every day, like Mary, contemplating God’s love, especially during this holy season of waiting in joyful expectation!

    Advent blessings to you and yours, Mark

    • Henry Libersat December 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      And all the best blessings of the Lord Jesus to you and yours and the entire FUS family.

      Henry

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