“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.” John 15:22
Christmas is coming. Churches around the world are preparing to celebrate the joyous birth of Jesus Christ. It is a time to reflect on the significance of Christ’s birth, the Messiah who has come to bring hope to a dying world because of sin. On the busy streets, however, the world is celebrating a Christmas without Christ. A Disney-themed display along Orchard Road has virtually removed Christ from Christmas. The Christmas lightings of Disney characters and Santa Clauses remind people to get busy with shopping and to keep busy preparing for Christmas parties.
What if our Messiah had never come? Some years ago, a Christmas card with the title “If Christ Had Not Come” was published. It was based on our Saviour’s own words, “If I had not come” in John 15:22. The description by Ted Schroder aptly paint a picture of what the world would look like without Christ. The card pictured a minister falling asleep in his study on Christmas morning and then dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.
In his dream, he saw himself walking through his house. But as he looked, he saw no stockings hung on the chimney, no Christmas tree, no wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort and gladden hearts or to save us. He then walked onto the street outside, but there was no church with its spire pointing toward heaven. And when he came back and sat down in his library, he realised that every book about our Saviour had disappeared. The minister dreamt that the doorbell rang and that a messenger asked him to visit a friend’s dying mother. He reached her home, and as his friend sat and wept, he said, “I have something here that will comfort you.” He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended with Malachi. There was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and all he could do was bow his head and weep with his friend and his mother in bitter despair. Two days later he stood beside her coffin and conducted her funeral service, but there was no message of comfort, no words of a glorious resurrection, and no thought of a mansion awaiting her in heaven. There was only “dust to dust, and ashes to ashes,” and one long, eternal farewell. Finally, he realised that Christ had not come and burst into tears, weeping bitterly in his sorrowful dream.
The reality is that the celebration of Christmas in the world has inched Christ out. If only we as believers, not only acknowledge the birth of Christ, but also go and tell the world of the significance and purpose of His coming. That is, whoever receive Christ as his Saviour and Lord, he/she will be saved from his/her sins on Judgment Day. Then our celebration will be meaningful and we will be glad and can rejoice because He has truly come.