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The fullness of time

The fullness of time

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Thu, Dec 22. 2011

by Pastor Dermoth Baptiste, Coordinator, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Region of Seventh-day Adventists

Jesus broke through human history at a time when deception had reached its height, sin had become a science and vice was consecrated as a part of religion. The Son of God looking upon the world saw suffering and misery, cruelty and hatred, bribe and corruption, disobedience and worldliness.{{more}} The bodies of human beings made for the habitation of God had become the dwelling place of demonic agencies. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart, and the hostility of man was most violent against heaven.

There was an unprecedented misapprehension of the character of God; of His love and justice and of His mercy and compassion. And so, when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son into the world to demonstrate, in bodily form, the true nature of the Father and to redeem man from the stronghold of sin and ruin.

On our own, all of us will be doomed to an eternity of suffering without God. We will all die without hope and eventually become fuel for the fires of hell. But with Jesus, all that simply fades away, for whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have abundant life and eternal security.

At this festive season, I lift my hands and raise my voice in ascribing praise, glory and honour to the Father for sending His Son into sin’s concentration camp to save sinners of whom I am chief. That’s what Christmas is all about. It’s more than a baby being born in a stable and being laid in a manger.

It’s more than shepherds in a field and wise men making a journey. It’s more than giving gifts and spending time with family.

It is more than shopping and spending; revelry and merry making; feasting and frolicking; cleaning and decorating.

Christmas is nothing less than the outpouring of God’s majestic love which is boundless in magnitude, godlike in compassion, universal in scope, individual in application and endless in duration.

“For this I came into the world,” Jesus said in John 18:37.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said this about Christmas. “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you … yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.” 

Indeed, Christmas is much more than a baby being born. Christmas is hope and infinite joy for a Saviour is born. Christmas is reaching out to others and loving without strings attached. Christmas is freedom from the yoke of bondage so that we can serve the Lord in Spirit and Truth.

In today’s pluralistic society which is becoming so inhumane, self-centered, divisive and loveless, just as how Jesus broke through human history when the fullness of time had come two thousand years ago, in like manner, I believe the fullness of time has come for each one of us to become more caring, loving, lovable, tolerable and accepting of one another. We can only appreciate these priceless values when Jesus becomes centre stage of our lives. Remember that people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. In our celebration let us remember that:

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are in the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who can return gifts, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love doesn’t leave Christ out of the picture, but embraces Him as the giver of all good things,

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Video games will break, riches will vanish, popularity will evaporate, entertainment will cease, but giving the gift of love will endure. The best gift we can give today to the One whose advent we celebrate is our lives as we lay our all on the altar of sacrifice in loyal service to God and to our fellowmen.

On behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I extend goodwill and best wishes to the Government and people of our beloved nation for a Christ centered Christmas and a healthy, productive and purpose-driven New Year. God is always on time, and so in 2012, we have nothing to fear for the future, for good will triumph over evil and victory will consume defeat.

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