Charles Dickens wrote his story A Christmas Carol to show how the power of Christ can transform our lives, as well as, use the transformed to bring significant change to the world. Dickens wanted to bring the Christmas spirit to each of his readers in the hope that they would be filled with the love of Christ and share his love with others. In a genuine sense, Dickens desired to see the power of Christ work in his day, leading to a preferable future. I believe within each of us is a desire to have hope in our future and leave a real legacy.
God has created us with an understanding of eternity that in the least leads our hearts to yearn for a positive outcome of our time on earth and to leave a trace after we pass. The ancient preacher writes: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecc 3:11). Human beings were created with a capacity for eternal things and a realization that this life cannot be all there is. Yet, sin has cut us off from eternity and darkened our understanding and will. What a burden to bear: to yearn for eternity and yet not know God.
A short time after Christ’s birth, Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him at the Temple. It was a baby dedication of sorts. They encounter a man named Simeon, who was waiting for the time when God would come to rescue and comfort His people. We are told that the Spirit was upon Simeon, indicating the powerful anointing and manifest presence of the Holy Spirit on his life. Simeon, filled with the Spirit, proclaims:
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
Simeon rejoices that he has been granted the ability to see the Savior and affirms that He is the Savior of all people (Jew and Gentile alike). He looks upon the Christ child and proclaims that He is a light for Gentiles living in darkness and glory for Israel. Simeon, inspired by God declares that Christ connects our inkling of eternity with the eternal God.
To have a secure future and leave a real God-honoring legacy, we must make two significant shifts. Shift number one is from darkness to light. I am speaking here of receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. Shift number two is from living to legacy. Everyone has a life to live, but not everyone leaves a legacy. Legacy is when you are genuinely grounded in offering yourself and making a meaningful, lasting and energizing contribution to humanity by serving a cause greater than your own. Legacy speaks of a life rippling through the ages, for God’s glory.
Only Jesus can bring light out of darkness and glory out of hopelessness. Only Jesus can fill our hardwired capacity for eternal things with eternal meaning. Only Jesus can take unknown tomorrows and replace it with a known and secure future. A believers Christmas carol is full of hope. The song of celebration of our Christ proclaims that in Him our future is certain and our legacy can be good.
Let’s encourage one another to consider how we will allow Christ to impact our future. In Christ our future is secure, and the legacy we leave will echo throughout eternity. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!