Christmas Present

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Think for a moment about how you have spent your day so far. Which would you say shaped your today more; was it yesterday or tomorrow? For example, if you went to work today, why did you work as hard and conscientiously as you did? Was it because in days past your parents modeled for you a good work ethic and taught you the value of hard work or is it because you are hoping to one day pay off your mortgage, get promoted or earn a raise? Or what if you loaded the family up and went out to buy a Christmas tree today? Was that because going to get a tree was a fun family tradition when you were growing up or were you motivated by the future vision of having a tree on Christmas morning.

Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive. Probably, for most of us, how we performed at work today, or our reasons for going to get a Christmas tree were affected by both formative experiences in our past and the hope of certain desired outcomes in the future. For healthy human beings the present is usually informed from two directions. Our past has bearing on what we do today, but so does the future we are aiming towards.

As I explained in my message last week, for these Sundays leading up to Christmas we will be studying Titus 2:11-14 together. Verse 11, which we covered last week, speaks of Christmas past, verse 12 speaks of Christmas’s present, and verse 13 points us toward Christmas’s future. However, Paul originally wrote these verses as one sweeping sentence encompassing the great arc of redemptive history, and right there between the appearance of grace on that first Christmas and the hoped-for second coming of Jesus we find these words, “…training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age…”.

Listen in as we explore how the significance of the two advents of Jesus impacts our today.