With 2023 closing in on us – it’s time once again to plan celebrations for the festive season, writes Pastor Eric Toleafoa from the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
This is usually a time of year where families start
digging into their pockets or stretching the budget to its limit, in order to purchase
Christmas gifts for their loved ones. This is also a time where there will be a
lot of spending, with businesses also focusing in on the spirit of the festive
It is also a time when many family members start to
plan for their travels, to the outer islands or overseas, and with this comes
the stress of financing travels and holidays for the whole family.
The festive season is a time where families take their
journeys to meet up or visit family members of whom they have not seen for
years. So how have you planned your journey this year?
I am reminded of the story of shepherds in Luke 2:
15-18. After the birth of the Saviour, the angels (messengers from God) appeared
to the shepherds to tell them of the Good News; hearing this, they straight
away got up and went. The Bible says that they travelled to Bethlehem. And at the
end of their journey, they came to a manger, where the baby name Jesus laid.
This is a success story of a journey taken by
shepherds who were inspired and led by God, and so the question arises, how
many of us today have begun a journey with God but somehow ended at an
undesirable destination? Were you able to redirect your course? Or did you
continue to tread undesirable paths? Of course, the end result is entirely
depended on the individual’s choices.
Sometimes our Christian journey will not be easy, but
God will give you strength to press on daily and overcome any situation. God
promises to work in your life until the end to make you more like Christ. The
Christian life is like a huge adventure with Christ.
You might have to take a few pitstops, you might get a
flat tire here and there, you might go through a few thunderstorms, but through
all your experiences, fruit is being built. You are becoming stronger, and your
faith and reliance in Christ is growing.
Let’s continue to encourage and pray that at the end
of each of our journeys, that we will not only find Jesus, but become more and
more like him. This is the best reason for celebrating Christmas and the New
Proverbs 16: 3 says “Commit to the Lord whatever you
do, and your plans will succeed.” If you are planning to go on an adventure
this festive season, plan it with the Lord. Allow God to be the leader of your plans
and the promise is that “…He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3: 6).
May the Lord’s blessings be upon each of you as you journey
together with God and celebrate this festive season with the most precious gift
ever given to mankind, that is Jesus.
Have an enjoyable festive season, keep safe, but most
of all be encouraged!