I grew up an atheist. Not by any means focused upon me. I was raised in an environment where it was accepted that knowledge and science had the answers. That we controlled our own destiny. Our actions determined our outcome and nothing was beyond that.
My first experience with the so called “Church” was when I was a young boy. Went with my Uncle's family one Sunday while on vacation in Southern California. Went to Sunday school with my cousins, who had been raised in the church since babies. I was handed a Bible, the first I had ever seen one, then the class was ask to turn to chapter and verse. I had no idea what they were talking about. So I sat there. Soon the other kids realized my lack of biblical fortitude and began to laugh at me. Short story: I never wanted to return to church again. It would be twenty years till my next encounter with the “Church.”
I would be thirty-two years old before I came to Christ. As I rose from the baptismal waters it felt like I was in-cased in a block of marble that suddenly turned to Jello and wash over me and off me.
This day, the eve of Christmas I look back and scan through the notes of my worn Bible, not asking why, but looking forward. Perhaps truly for the first time. The last two years of my life have been the darkest I have known and wish not to know again.
Would I have made it through this dark valley of time in my life without Christ? No way. Did I come to Christ for a better life? One of prosperity? One of fun and joy? That's what the world proclaims Christians to be and be living. Nothing could be farther from the truth. No, I came to Christ because of the judgment. I still do. No matter how good a life I could ever try to lead I would come up short on judgment day.
The fact of the matter, I come up short everyday. Something goes wrong I get angry. The opportunity to help someone else passes by me to only realize later I could of helped that person with little effort or cost to my living.
Tonight I am looking forward to going to a Christmas Eve Church Service. Partaking in the Lord's Supper. Unfortunately it is not being held in a church which my family and I are members. Yet, the members there welcome us as family each year. It is a service filled with love. Love not only from above but by those who love Christ. I am blessed this Christmas. -Amen