Monday, December 26, 2011
Today Is Another Day of Christmas
My first Christmas happened in the Spring of 1970. I was 21. I believed, experientially, in an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, necessarily existent Being, which we in the English-speaking West call "God."
On that day I believed. That Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah. I believed in Christ. I placed my trust in him. That trust has not proven to be misplaced. My trust, my hope, is in Christ as the revelation of God to humanity.
On that day, 42 years ago, Christ was born. In me. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) God has come to make our hearts his home. (See this little booklet by Robert Munger, which I read many years ago.)
Before my Jesus-encounter, what was I, Weltanshauung-wise? A deist? Probably, and unthinkingly so. A hedonist? Yes. A wandering, lost soul not knowing what he was doing, unconsciously looking for love and meaning? Indeed I was that.
Then, on that day, walking from my apartment into the campus of Northern Illinois University, I got sozoed (see here, and here); I was "born again" (see John chapter 3). I was a "new creation." Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The old ways of alcohol abuse and drug use fell off me, never to return. I went to my parents' home and got the Bible that was given to me when I was 12. And, I washed the dishes for my mother after lunch, to her shock. SomeOne was at work within.
I pause now to give thanks. I did not expect this to happen. I was unprepared for the practical act of redemption. I knew I was screwed up; I just didn't anticipate my unscrewing to actually happen, immediately. But it did. It does.
This forms my argument from religious experience. Something freeing and dramatic and life-changing and lasting happened to me, and I have never been the same. And, it is ongoing, even today, even now. On that first Christmas Day the needle of freedom was inserted into history. On my Personal Christmas Day I got transfused by the blood of Christ.
My faith and trust in him is not mere theory. It forms my ongoing experience. Now. Today.
It's Monday, December 26. Merry Christmas!