Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Meaning of Life - Found in a Manger

What is the meaning of life?

That very question has been asked by men and women for centuries, but as we approach the celebration of Christmas here in Bermuda, and around the world, I find an answer wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

In the beginning, God, who is beyond all comprehension of time and space, created the heavens and the earth, and all that inhabit it, plants, animals, but most notably a man and a woman.

God created those two people, not because he needed us, but because he desired to have a unique relationship with his creation, one that he couldn't have with anything else in creation.

He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden and enjoyed sweet fellowship with them, demonstrating his love for them daily.

However, God did give them one rule to follow – one simple rule – which they could not obey. They disobeyed God and unfortunately had to suffer the consequences. God, who is holy, perfect and just, had to not only banish his creation from the Garden, but from his very presence.

Adam and Eve's failure led to the cursing of everything. The ground would now battle them to produce food. They would have to contend with the dangers of the animal kingdom. Woman would suffer in childbirth. There would be a cycle of death and sadness that would last for eternity through the curse of sin, leading to eternal separation of man from his creator.

However, in the punishment God pronouced, he also provided a way out for man in the curse – the promise of a holy one who would defeat sin once and for all.

Man struggled for thousands of years, while he tried to find his own way back to God, but when the fullness of time had come, God sent a newborn babe to earth, miraculously born of a virgin in a stable in Bethlehem about 2000 years ago.

This was no ordinary baby, but conceived by God in Mary's womb, so that this child was born without the curse of sin upon him.

Born the very son of God; born to live as man, tempted as we are, yet still without sin.

Born to die; born to conquer death and rise again to new life.

Born to save the sons of earth, born to give us a second birth.

What is the meaning of life?

Man was created to worship and have fellowship with his creator, the God of Heaven and Earth, yet because of the curse of sin, we have wandered like those lost in the wilderness.

But God...

But God has provided us with the only way back to him, the only answer to the hole inside each of our hearts, the only way to escape death and hell and eternal separation from Him who loves us beyond comprehension.

“I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life,” Jesus said. “NO ONE can come to the Father except through me.”
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

What is the meaning of life?

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus said: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd ; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Jesus said: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”

What is the meaning of life?

It is to know Christ – in a personal way as Lord and Saviour – and to make Him known to the ends of the Earth. May you KNOW the meaning of life - eternal life - this Christmas!


No comments: