Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Wednesday, December 22 - A Combined Birthday and Surprise Party

“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” — Luke 12:40

Millions around the world are days away from celebrating Christmas, a holiday that brings with it considerable pomp, circumstance and tradition — whether you’re a follower of Jesus Christ or not. For followers of Jesus, this is a holiday that sits as a time of sincere praise and wonder, the day when the Son of God bore flesh and became Emanuel — God with us. When looking at Christmas today, the Church should note that it is still a day of celebration — a “birthday party” — for the Son of God. However, Christmas should also be looked at closely in terms of describing the “surprise party” that is coming — the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is interesting about Christmas was all the events that took place were told and described to the Jewish people. Several prophets, led by Isaiah, wrote and spoke of signs that would be fulfilled in the coming of the Son of Man. God worked meticulously, as He always does, to create a worldwide motion of events that set the stage for His Son, Jesus, to be born to a virgin woman in a manger in the “City of David” — Bethlehem. What is surprising, though, is how few people knew what was taking place, which bears a striking similarity to the condition of the world today.

Think about it: Prophecies were told of how Jesus would come, where He would come, and why He would come, yet there were only a few individuals who were prepared and waiting for His coming — Simeon, Anna, a group of wise men from the East. Not even the religious leaders of the day were prepared for the coming of Jesus. And when He came, He was so much greater than what they had prepared for. The world wanted a Messiah to “just” save them from political oppression; Jesus came to save the world from its sin. And throughout His life and after rising from the dead, the Son of God proclaimed to His disciples how He was coming back, a prophesy that was later fleshed out in greater detail by John in the Book of Revelation.

Jesus is coming back to take His followers home, and the world is still not prepared for that moment like it should be, despite the prophesies we have available to us to study. With the events taking place around the world as we see them, every follower of Jesus Christ shall be diligent in proclaiming the Gospel — that an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe exists for all those who believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died for their sins. In addition, He is coming back to take His followers home to be with God, then He will defeat the treachery of Satan once and for all, in a spectacular battle that will establish a reign of love and peace on the earth like the world hasn’t known since the Garden of Eden.

In a way, it’s a “surprise party” that those who look for the invitation are invited to, because like the rest of the world, followers of Jesus will be surprised when it exactly happens. But we won’t be surprised that it will happen.

Are you ready to celebrate a party with the Son of God?

— Jon Oglesby

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