Several years ago, while I was still pastoring at Three Lakes Community Bible Church, my wife wrote a Christmas program entitled, “It’s His Story,” which related how all of history is really “His Story”– God’s dealing with those He created, and carrying out His plan of salvation which came through His sending His Son at just the appropriate time (Gal. 4:4) to become our Redeemer through making the perfect sacrifice for our sins. And now God is orchestrating the events on earth to prepare the stage for “Advent II,” when Christ first comes to remove the Church (His Bride) and then to prepare the earth for His physical return to reign for 1,000 years of “peace on earth,” before eternity begins.
Each of our lives is framed by a particular time in history marked by memorable local, national, world and personal events that have impacted our lives. Some grew up in the depression years and how difficult life was to provide for a family. Some recall the attack on Pearl Harbor and many family members being involved in World War II. Many lost loved ones and others came home disabled for the rest of their lives. The same has been true more recently with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some recall what they were doing the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Others recall the day the Berlin Wall fell or the shocking terrorist attack on the United States on 9-11-01. All of us will remember the global COVID pandemic and how it has changed our lives. Simply put, we humans exist in the context of history, which is really His Story…nothing that happens is out of God’s control. Just as all the events of the years before Christ came–such as the conquests of Alexander the Great bringing the Greek language and culture to all he conquered, the Roman Empire which resulted in building roads and increasing travel and commerce–prepared the stage for God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to be born in Bethlehem, right up to the detail of the decree from Caesar Augustus to take a census for taxation, causing people to travel to the city of their ancestry to register (Lk. 2:1,2), which brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where Micah had prophesied the Messiah would be born (Mic. 5:2).
During Jesus’ time on earth, He gathered a handful of disciples that He trained to be able to take the Gospel to the far corners of the earth after His death, burial and resurrection. After He returned to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower believers to share the Gospel (Acts 1:8) and to be Christ’s ambassadors (II Cor. 5:20) wherever they went. The Gospel spread–largely due to persecution–to Europe, Asia and Africa and ultimately to the Americas. We are grateful that God “is not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9) and that someone shared with us the “Good News” of eternal life in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins. We each have become part of history (His Story).
You may remember some of the important dates in your life such as your birth, when you graduated from high school and college, when you got married, when your children were born, when a loved one died, or when you began a job or a new career, or when you moved to a new location. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you may also recall the very time when you committed your life to Him for eternity and He came to live in you through the Holy Spirit. While all the other events marked your time in history (His Story), none is more significant than that date, for it marks the time when you “passed from death to life” (Jn. 5:24) and changed your eternal destiny.
Similarly, there have been many key events in history (His Story), but the event one night more than two millennia ago was the most monumental event ever. It changed the course of all human history–“The Word (God) became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). The angel announced that first Christmas night–“…I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:10,11). Every time we write the date we acknowledge that event, for it changed our keeping of time as the whole world moved from B. C. (“Before Christ”) to A.D. (anno Domini…“year of the Lord”). Most importantly, Jesus’ birth was the beginning of His restoring our relationship with God. Humanity had been alienated from Him since the fall in the Garden of Eden. Our default mode, sadly, is sin. Jesus came to pay the penalty for our sin through His death on the Cross and the proof came with His resurrection. “He was delivered up because of our transgressions (sins) and was raised because of our justification” (Ro. 4:25). “He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the work of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:19). Those of us who have been reconciled to God by faith in Jesus Christ (Ro. 5:1) are now His ambassadors to help others be reconciled to Him. If you have yet to put your faith in Christ for salvation, then you are still alienated from God. Jesus came to change all that. Why not acknowledge your lostness, thank God for sending Christ to pay for your sins and to rise again, and ask Him to be your personal Savior. What a great way that would be to end this year and to begin 2022! That will be a part of history (His Story) that you will never forget and your life will be changed forever.