Category: Cultural Commentary Written by Jim Denison
The malls may resemble your home today. Are your trash cans overflowing with boxes of unwrapped gifts and balls of torn wrapping paper? Is your Christmas tree looking a little forlorn? Has the excitement already come down a notch or two? Are you already moving on to New Year's and 2014?
I wonder what it was like in Bethlehem the day after Christmas. What happened the morning after that marvelous night when angels burst out of the heavens and the Son of God was born? I imagine the census was still going on, with Roman soldiers registering the people. Did anyone mention the arrival of Mary and Joseph the night before? Did anyone ask how they were doing? Or was it just another ordinary day?
I've heard that Britain's King George III wrote in his diary, "July 4, 1776. Nothing happened today." It turns out, the king didn't keep a diary. But the King of Kings does, a volume described in Scripture as the "book of life." When your life began, you were recorded in this "book of life." Moses said to God: "Please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written." The Lord replied, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book" (Exodus 32:32-33).
God has your name in his book, and must "blot it out" if you choose to reject his free salvation in Christ (see Revelation 21:27). However, if you have made Christ your Savior and Lord, your name will be written there forever. Jesus said to his disciples, "Rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). Paul addressed the Philippian Christians as "my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life" (Philippians 4:3).
Many will measure Christmas 2013 by what they received, and some by what they gave, but such gifts will soon be forgotten. What was your favorite gift from Christmas 2012? 2011?
The Christmas gift that matters most will be ours forever. Today I'm reflecting on the greatest single piece of advice I've ever received: "Always remember the source of your personal worth." That source is simple: the God of the universe thought your eternal life was worth the impoverished birth, persecuted life, and crucified death of his Son.
Do you agree?