Next Time It Will Be Different
One of our family traditions is to put up the Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving weekend. The routine is usually the same and this year was no different. The bins are brought in from the garage. Furniture gets moved around. The tree, lights, and garland go up first. Each of us has certain ornaments we hang on the tree. Moody’s Candlelight Carols CD is played (Margie and I love the song “Ten Thousand Joys”) along with Andrea Bocelli, Pentatonix, and other favorites. Dad is sent to McDonald’s for lunch. It takes most of the afternoon to put everything in place (indoors and outdoors) and pack away the empty bins. Our grandson Ramon (20 months old) was excited to play with all the new “toys” (decorations) this year while Mia (4 months old) entertained us as she was passed around from one family member to another. Supper is leftovers from the previous days of family get togethers. The evening is spent relaxing, enjoying the beauty of our handiwork, and watching a Christmas movie. This year it was Christmas with the Kranks (our most-watched ones are A Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas). We follow the same pattern year after year and we would not want to change a thing!
While it is good to enjoy the family traditions and celebrate the first coming of Jesus each December, it is even better to remember that when He comes the next time, things will be different! This anonymous poem delineates the differences quite well.
The First Time Jesus Came:
He came veiled in the form of a child.
A star marked His arrival.
Wise men brought Him gifts.
There was no room for Him.
Only a few attended His arrival.
He came as a baby.
The Next Time Jesus Comes:
He will be recognized by all.
Heaven will be lit by His glory.
He will bring rewards for His own.
The world won’t be able to contain His glory.
Every eye shall see Him.
He will come as Sovereign King and Lord of all.
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He (Jesus) appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached on in the world, was taken up in glory.
– 1 Timothy 3:16
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those waiting for him.
– Hebrews 9:27-28
O come let us adore the Baby, Savior, and King of Christmas!
by Tim Bruns, Pastor of Adult and Care Ministries