Imagining a reality without Christ
By: Jordan Sparnroft
I have been walking through a season of spiritual dryness, apathy, and confusion for the past year. I’ve been self-centered, having a heightened clarity of all I lack while I take for granted all that I have, not only in the physical but in the spiritual world. The thought of ‘rediscovering the gift of Christ’ is something my heart desperately craves.
Have you ever taken someone or something for granted? It seems only when we lose something do we realize all the value that person or thing brought to our lives. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? On the outside, my circumstances are good. My husband and I both have jobs that provide more than we need, and there are no major negative events or trials happening in our lives. We have so many undeserved blessings! However, life going seemingly well can often lead us to complacency. Our comfortable circumstances tend to make us forget what we lack spiritually and instead focus on what we lack materially, especially during the holiday season. Influencers sharing links to nicer clothes and discount codes on the latest gadgets are flashing in front of our faces. We so easily forget our soul’s deepest needs. We forget that without God coming in the form of a helpless infant, we would have no hope. We would have no one to call upon when our circumstances seem hopeless; no one greater than ourselves to trust.
Imagine a reality without Christ. I want to meditate on what my life would be like if Jesus never came. A reality of praying but knowing that no one is listening or advocating on my behalf. A reality of no hope after death. A reality of striving to ‘be a good person’ with the hopes of nullifying our countless sins with a few good deeds. A reality that I will have to pay the penalty for my sin.
A reality without Christ is grim and hopeless. Meditation on such things puts into perspective our true reality, that Jesus came! Thank God He came! He lived a perfect life, paid the penalty for our sins, conquered death, and sent us the Holy Spirit so that he is always with us and accessible to us. And we have God’s promise that Jesus will return to earth to eliminate death and sin once and for all. He did this so you and I can have assurance and a living hope amid our life here on earth. A living hope that will outlive our circumstances and possessions; in times of plenty and in times of lack.
Praise God, He truly is Emmanual. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)Because Jesus came, we can call upon a wonderful counselor, a mighty God, a Father who never changes, and the Prince of Peace himself, knowing that He is with us!
This Christmas meditate on what your life would be like without Jesus. How would your day-to-day change? How would your view on some difficult circumstances in your life change? Or maybe you haven’t allowed the good news of the Christmas story to change your life and you’ve grown complacent towards the spiritual blessings available to all who place their faith in Christ. I pray that this Christmas season we meditate on the significance of Christ once again (or for the first time) and have renewed awe, delight, and thanks to the God who came for us.