Remembering the past, renewing our faith
Christmas Messages
December 19, 2014
Remembering the past, renewing our faith

Fri, Dec 19, 2014

Pastor Dermoth Baptiste

President, SVG Mission of Seventh-day Adventists

As we pause to celebrate the season of Advent this year, we are doing so against the back drop of a world which is rapidly sinking more and more into moral declension, economic depression, social deprivation, catastrophic disasters resulting from climate change and spiritual depravity as a result of a lack of trust in God, who is the very reason for the season we are celebrating.{{more}}

One of the greatest delusions of the time is to think we are in control of our lives and we can do as we please without regard for the natural consequences which follow our actions. Our recent history of the calamitous floods of 2013 reminds us again of our vulnerability and total helplessness when nature is out of control.

For many this year, Christmas comes with a bitter taste, especially for those who have lost loved ones, whether it be in the floods of last year or death by unnatural means this year. I enter into your feelings as you live through the pain, anguish, agony and hurt that follow every cycle of disaster and death. As you honour the memory and remember the legacy of your loved ones, I commend you to the power and strength of Jesus who condescended to this earth to bind our wounds, anoint our beings and to lift us up from the trenches so that by faith, we can sit with Him in heavenly places.

Whether you are searching for significance, floundering for faith or looking for some type of ultimate meaning to your life, I offer you Jesus who alone brings joy, assures salvation, satisfies our longings and fulfills our emptiness. Your life is not a meaningless journey to nowhere. Just as every thread in a tapestry has a function, so God has a plan for your life to fulfill you because of His gracious love. His plan begins with you turning over your life over to Him fully and completely.

The story of Christmas is about Jesus becoming flesh and moving into our world, into our country, into our neighborhood, into our street, into our corner and into our heart to qualify, claim, rescue and redeem us from the power and dominion of sin. Christmas only has relevance and significance for us as we allow Him to break sin in our lives and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live renewed, sanctified lives.

I read a story about a young husband and wife who had gone through some rocky times, to the point where the wife finally became so disillusioned with the stress of marriage and the responsibility of being a mother that she just wanted to get away.

One morning, the husband awakened to a note beside him in their bed, but she was gone. He agonized about her leaving but felt she needed a little space. So, he didn’t try to follow her. He called her cell phone that day and every day for more than a week. He told her he loved her. He begged her to come home, and she listened to what he had to say. He often could hear her softly weeping, but she stubbornly refused to come home.

As Christmas approached, the young father became more intentional, and he decided to hire a private investigator to help him locate her. A week later, the detective stumbled across her in a low-budget motel in a bad area of Las Vegas. Without alerting her to his discovery, he called the husband in California.

Several days before Christmas, she sat on a lumpy motel bed by herself in a dimly lit room. She felt about as lonely as she’d ever felt in her entire life, and suddenly she heard a knock, softly at first and then it grew louder. Cautiously, she walked across the room and peeked through the curtain. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw her husband standing in the doorway. She slid the chain free, threw open the door, and fell into his arms.

He repeated his familiar speech: “We love you. We need you. Please come home.” This time…this time she was throwing the few clothes into her old suitcase and heading for his car. A week later, the Christmas tree was back in the attic; the children were in school; and he asked her, “Why did you wait so long to come home? I begged you to come back a dozen times. What took you so long?”

She said, “You told me you loved me. You told me you needed me, but those were just words until you came.”

Two thousand years ago, the God of the universe came. He left heaven, and He came through the doorway of earth. He set aside His power. Why? Because of His love for the human family. As we celebrate Christmas this year the best gift we can bring to Him are our wary, wayward, wretched, wrecked lives in exchange for renewal, regeneration, restoration and revival. Until we do this with honesty and sincerity we will never find rest for our troubled souls.

On behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I wish every Vincentian and visitors to our shore a blessed and reflective Christmas and a New Year of rich, unprecedented blessings in every facet of your life.