As I officially begin this blog entry, the digital clock on my laptop tells me that it is 12:22 AM on December 21, 2012. Yes, December 21, 2012, the date that the Mayans supposedly prophesized the world will end on. There have been several predictions on the demise of our world, and apparently, none have been successful. As I continue typing to complete this, the world thankfully has not begun to be devoured by any fire or simply explode altogether. With the failure of the May 27, 2012 prediction, and with the other failed attempts at foretelling the end of the world, most people have been doubtful that the prediction of December 21, 2012 would prove to be true. Hearing the prediction myself months and months ago, I was never convinced.
Funny though, I had a dream regarding the demise of the world last night. I was in our living room talking to someone. Suddenly, a group of meteors started falling towards the earth, some toward our living room. With a blink of an eye, the person I was talking to has been crushed to non-existence by one fiery rock.
As I was reminded of the infamous date getting nearer and nearer, I surprisingly felt a little anxiety. I never reached a level of belief, but a thought came to me: What if the world does end tomorrow? What if today was really the last day of everyone’s existence on earth? Thinking of the day I had, my last greatest accomplishment would seem to be cleaning my room to a tee. And that isn’t really a great accomplishment when the world is about to end, is it? But really looking at my supposed last day, I had accomplished a greater task than cleaning my room: I have shared the Gospel.
Stillwaters Church has organized an Online Mass I4 Sharing movement during this Christmas break. This movement aims to share the Gospel to friends and family through online means like Facebook and Twitter with the use of the Infinite Forgiveness (I4) story. (For those who do not know about the Infinite Forgiveness story, a summarized means of sharing the Gospel, you can read the story here: https://stillwoblogs.wordpress.com/i4/) There were two parts to the movement: first was to post the I4 Page to our Facebook walls, so that it would show up in the news feeds of the people and become sort of a trending topic, prompting other people to take notice and hopefully read the Gospel. The second part was to directly link the I4 page to friends and family members that we aimed to share the Gospel to. The goal was to personally pursue them to let them know the Gospel.
With all of this, I am reminded of Mark 5:1-20, which tells the story of Jesus rescuing and healing a man possessed with a mob of evil spirits. Whenever I hear this story, the truly great power and mercy that Jesus showed always grabs my attention. Recently, I have seen the story in another perspective. When this story was preached during our Clan Service, a light was shed on Mark 5:19.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. (Mark 5:18-20, NIV; emphasis added)
Verse 19 highlighted how Jesus wanted the healed man to stay and tell the people about his experience with the Healer. It shed light on the fact that the healed man had the power to play the crucial role of introducing Jesus to the people who had not known of Him yet. During those times, Jesus could have introduced Himself to each and every person because He had the capability to do so. However, He chose to let a man, an ordinary man who had experienced His power and love, to go and tell people how Jesus loves. What more now? Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of the throne and not here on earth. In turn, we are given the outstanding task to do what the healed man was tasked to do years ago: to let other people know of Him.
When we hear that Christmas time is coming, we would often write it as CHRISTmas. Christmas is a time for Christ. It is a time to rekindle our love with Him, to remind ourselves of His being, or even to know Him for the first time. When Christmas time comes, we often think of our relationship with God and our relationship with other people. I think it has seldom occurred to us to bridge the people we love with God. We remind ourselves of the love that Christ has poured onto us, but we have not fully made the move of allowing the people we love to build that essential and pure relationship with God. A striking reminder for us is one of the greatest commandments given to us:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12, NIV)
To love other people, we must allow them to love the One who first loved us, and we can only do that by introducing Him through the Gospel. For the past few days, people have been receiving Jesus through the Online Mass I4 Sharing movement. Some of the responses from different people are posted below:
“Yes, (it was meaningful) because it reminded me of God’s unconditional love.”
”It was meaningful because it reminded me of how low my sufferings are.”
”I found it very enlightening as I do not truly believe in THE God but, after reading this, I might maybe give a little faith in that the Christian God is real and that He is there to save us all through the works of Jesus.”
”Grabe ‘tong araw na ‘to. Dami ko ginawa at narating. Tapos, mababasa mo yun. Nakakapawi ng pagod emotionally, spiritually! (I have done many things and have been to many places today. Then, I get to read this. It took away my exhaustion, emotionally and spiritually!)”
”Wow, thanks for this. It was really wonderful and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for remembering what I have shared with you and thank you also for finding the time to help me remind about our one true God.”
”Natuwa ako. Kasi minsan feeling ko I am not worthy of being called a good follower. Pero remembering all of that, na-realize ko there’s always hope and a chance to change for the better. (I felt happy. Sometimes, I feel that I am not worthy of being called a good follower. But remembering all of that, I realized that there’s always hope and a chance to change for the better.)”
It truly is a heart-warming fulfillment to see how more and more people are now enjoying the best relationship they can ever have. This is also an exciting feat because I feel this is only the beginning.
For the people reading this, you too can start truly loving people by sharing the Gospel. If sharing it face-to-face seems challenging, you can start by sharing this summarized yet still powerful version of the Gospel through this link: https://stillwoblogs.wordpress.com/i4/. When they have read it, follow it up by asking them how they have felt after reading. Make the conversation personal.
As I officially finish and publish this blog entry, the digital clock of my laptop now tells me that it is 10:43 PM of December 24, 2012. Well, would you look at that? December 21 has passed with no meteors, but only God’s blessings, showering the earth. Let us continue this celebration by loving one another through the Gospel not only this Christmas, but each and every day. May we continue to remind ourselves why we celebrate Christmas yearly.