“No longer will there be anything accursed.” These are words that are so difficult to imagine. Every aspect of our living is marred by the fall. We've looked at so many of the hard things about life and motherhood over the past 24 days. For many, Christmas gatherings painfully bring effects of our separation from God to the surface: loneliness after the death of a spouse or parent; grief over a family member that chooses not to come home; feeling unknown by a gift we’re given; watching our children fight over the gifts they did or didn't receive; stress; anxiety; fear; disharmony...
Holidays have a way of intensifying the ache of broken relationships, sickness, pain, and death.
It may be all we’ve ever known, but it was not what we were created for. That’s why God sent his son to earth in the form of a baby: to grow up to be our sacrifice, to defeat death, and ultimately to restore what was lost.
Even through the pain of this life, we as mothers have incredible pictures of Eden restored. Echoes of the way that God intended life to be. Motherhood is full of miracles. Powerful glimpses of joy and peace. Moments where it feels as if "all is right in the world." The warm kicks of new life in your womb. Being handed your adopted child for the first time and becoming a family. Holding a sleeping newborn. Baby giggles. Your toddler saying "I love you." Seeing your children hug and hold hands. Watching them ride a bike without training wheels for the first time. Seeing your husband swing your daughter around as she squeals with delight. Sometimes we can barely enjoy those moments because we are so accustomed to the shattering that follows.
But the hope we have in Jesus frees us from that cynicism. We can celebrate those glimpses of bliss as a foretaste of what is to come... with the knowledge that they are simply that, only a foretaste. Take a moment to try to imagine the most perfect Christmas you can…if everything was exactly as you wished it were... the very best of the season with everyone's well wishes and cheer...
Can you see it?
Your very best scenario is but a shadow of the New World that we will one day dwell in. Jesus didn't come to rescue us from hell so that we could spend eternity on clouds with little harps singing forever in some boring heaven. No. He came to restore what was lost. We will have physical bodies in the New Earth. We will work and play and eat together in the way we long for life to look now. Christmas forever. With no threat of ruin.
The new world will not just be devoid of malice, greed, selfishness, and grumbling. It wont just be good because there isn’t any more death, or crying, or pain, or arguing. It will be FILLED with the light of God and his presence. His dwelling place will be with us. And we will be with him. Can you imagine life without shame and disappointment? Without fear of punishment or death? That is the gift of life in the presence of God in a restored Eden. This is what the BIRTH, death, and resurrection of Jesus made possible for all who will receive him. For you. For me.
So take heart Christian! Hope in the world to come. Hope in Christ your Savior.
THIS is why he came. THIS is why we celebrate Christmas. Tell your children. That's the highest aim of motherhood. Make much of Jesus in your home... on this day, and every day.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION/APPLICATION:
1. How does our confidence in the New Earth free us from the pressure we place on Christmas to be perfect? How does it change the way we react to feelings of disappointment around the holidays?
2. What are you most looking forward to about the New Earth? Do you see God’s presence as the greatest aspect of the world to come?