24 Dec 2012, by Mindy Oon CM-
FGA Ipoh held its Christmas Service on the 23rd of Dec. Kicked off with Christmas Carols and presentations from the youth and children, it was a joyous occasion as many who were working away from Ipoh came back for the Christmas season. While the presentations showcased the talents for the younger generations, guest speaker Pastor Albert Tan brought the ‘meat’ of the service with his sermon ‘Lessons From the Christmas Season.’
The first lesson that we as Christians can take from Christmas is that ‘God’s word can be trusted’. With the present hunting, tree decorating, and the hustle and bustle of this season, many times we forget the real reason for Christmas. However, when we do take some time to ponder upon Christ – his birth, his life and his death – one of the lessons that we can learn is that God’s word is true. The birth of Christ was foretold in the Bible, and when the time was right, each prophesy was fulfilled. God’s word foretold when Christ would come, the place of his birth, the family he would be born into, the condition of the family and also the reception of the people. The Bible also foretold the death of Christ, and told the end from the beginning. God’s word tells us how Christ would die, told of his burial, his resurrection and His ascension. Each and every prophesy that was spoken about Christ was fulfilled.
The second lesson that the season gives is that ‘there is a story beyond ourselves’. The season of Christmas calls to the awareness that there is a story beyond ourselves, our lifetime even our death. Christ is the center of this story, and we should not be looking only at ourselves (eg. Our suffering, our troubles). We should ask ourselves if we fit into God’s plan or are we trying to fit God into our own plans. We need to learn to look to the larger purposes of God that is centered around Christ. Don’t sweat the small stuff, keep eternity in view.
Thirdly, the Christmas season tells of the ‘Patience of God’. God does not rush. His vision is so far-sighted that He is willing to spend generations unfolding His plans. And suddenly, when the time comes, dramatic things start happening. In the fullness of time, God acts without delay and nothing can stop Him. For example, Christ was born during a time when there were good roads to enable the spreading of the gospel, as well as a lingua franca that everyone spoke. Jesus came at the right time, and He will come again soon. God doesn’t rush, and neither should we. Instead of rushing through life, start building for the future.
And last but not least, this season teaches us to ‘Stay Awake!’
Matthew 24:42-44 says ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day you Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him”.
Just as the child was born in Bethlehem came quietly in the night, we will not know when Christ will come again. Thus we need to be vigilant and be ready for Him when He comes again!
Dear Viewers in Christ, if you find this article edifying to you, please share with your friends or loved ones by using the social media plugs (Share, Email to this article). The Lord will surely bless you as you bless others. May the Lord’s peace and love be with you. Amen.