A Different ChristmasDecember 24th, 2013 by Ryan Vasconcellos
God has brought us safely to our new home and mission field of Koro Island. Much has happened in our first months here that makes us even more in awe of God’s mighty power and love. He’s blessed us with time to study His Word for hours each day. He has given us more divine appointments in the last few months than I can remember in our previous 20 years of life. But then it hit me, is it because we’ve arrived in a foreign mission field, or is it because we’ve made an outward and inward declaration to serve God with our lives? In fact, God calls us to be missionaries, first in our home, then our neighborhood, then our extended communities, and then to the far posts of the world as we read in Acts 1:8. Location means nothing, its all about a genuine love for humanity and a burden for their souls.
This Christmas is the first we’ll spend without our family, without gifts under a tree, without lots of food and merry making. But then it hit me again, if Jesus was here on earth today, on the celebration of His birth, what would He be doing? Would he be eating and celebrating and exchanging gifts with friends and loved ones? Then as I pondered further, I realized that none of the disciples or early Christians had ever been recorded to have celebrated Christmas in the Bible, but rather, everyday was a celebration of a Risen Saviour and what He did for us at the Cross of Calvary. Christ told us, “if any man come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24. If Christ were here today, He would do exactly what He always did, serve the less fortunate and bless them with health and spiritual healing, at the same time, calling on us to do the same.
Now, living on a remote island, quiet with the sounds of God’s beautiful nature, without the distractions the enemy daily throws our way in the forms of music, television, movies, etc. to distract us from Christ, I can see like Saul, with spiritual scales removed from my eyes. The spirit of Christmas; joy and gladness, peace to all men, sharing the hope of our Saviour and King, that is the true reason for the season. Jesus would be proud for us to share those things. Perhaps Jesus might be more proud for us to spend a little more time sharing with others the joy of the day of His soon return to this earth. His first arrival was amazing and to be forever remembered, but His Second Coming will be a day the universe will talk about throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. As that momentous day of Christ’s soon return fast approaches, I yearn to celebrate everyday with Him as if it were Christmas. I want to celebrate the fact that He took on the form of sinful humanity so that we could sport the Robe of His Righteousness forever! This Christmas, let all who love Jesus across the world, celebrate by hastening the coming of our Lord, our Saviour, and our King.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” – Luke 2:14