Merry Christmas and Happy Yeshu Jayanti!
The COVID vaccines are being released around the world. There is so much hope and anticipation as it promises to end the biggest pandemic in our generation. It will be a great relief when life returns back to normal.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word “pandemic” defines the year 2020. When WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, the online lookup of this word increased over 115,000%. Pandemic is defined as an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area (such as multiple countries or continents) and typically affects a significant proportion of the population. The word “pan” means “all” and demos” means “people” in Greek. Many of our families have been affected by this pandemic, so it’s no wonder there is exuberance around the world over the vaccines that can potentially end the death and devastation caused by this virus.
Our Ultimate Pandemic
But there is something far worse than the current pandemic that affects us, and we may not even be aware of it. In fact, this disease has plagued all people in every generation since the beginning of time. This disease is sin or bad karma. Sin can be defined as breaking God’s law or violating dharma. We have all knowingly or unknowingly violated God’s moral standards, and in doing so, we have offended God himself. Unlike the Covid-19 pandemic, where only a small percentage of the population has been infected, sin has infected 100% of us. We simply have to look around and within ourselves to see the damage of sin and the misery it has caused. Often it is easier to see the offenses of others, but it is harder to look within and realize the sin within us. The symptoms may vary from person to person, but the Bible makes it clear that ultimately sin leads us to death – both physical and spiritual. Sin is the deadliest pandemic ever!
One of the symptoms of the sin within us is spiritual lostness. Spiritual lostness makes us rightly wonder and ask important questions such as, ‘why am I here?’, ‘what is the purpose of my life?’, or ‘who am I?’. In our culture, we have asked these questions for thousands of years. However, we cannot find and live out the purpose for which we have been created without knowing our Creator. It’s like trying to solve a complex puzzle without the biggest central piece. We simply cannot solve it. Instead of actually encountering God and then journeying this life with him, we end up convincing ourselves that this endless pursuit of trying to connect with God (in this life or next) itself is the journey. One reason for this misunderstanding is that we are not aware or accepting of God’s solution for this ultimate pandemic. Sin causes us to become blind and remain in denial.
More Than a Vaccine
For surviving the pandemic of sin, we need something better than a vaccine. When we become acutely aware of the disease of sin within us, and recognize the damage it has caused, it is similar to finding out that we have tested positive and we are showing strong symptoms that will soon lead to death. We need immediate help to stop the worsening, avert the impending death and be restored to health. We will need holistic saving from sin. We need a cure that will heal us. When we come to this self-realization, it is then that we are ready to hear the good news: “And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21).
This is the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus – that he would be born of the Virgin Mary. It was announced to Joseph by an angel in a dream. According to the Bible, Jesus is the Son of God – the long promised Messiah (meaning “savior”) who came into this world to save us from our sins. About two thousand years ago, God became a man in order to save humanity from this deadly pandemic. Jesus Christ took upon himself all the poison of our sin and died on the cross. His death cleanses us of our sins and reunites us with God. We could not have earned this. Good karma does not wipe away bad karma. But Jesus’ sacrifice is the medicine to cure us of our sin. His death averts our death and gives us a new and eternal life, naya jeevan and anantha jeevan lived in union with God. If we realize this, Christmas will take a whole new meaning.
Do you believe that you are in this spiritual pandemic of sin? If you do, it opens the door for you to be delivered from the death and devastation that comes from it. Consider these suggestions with an open heart. When you are ready, below is a short set of steps to connect with God. Only proceed if you can be sincere. This is between God and you. Though these are some bold steps, it is the wise thing to do.
- Acknowledge: Admit your sinfulness. Realize that you are infected by sin and take stock of some of the symptoms of it in your own life. Are you deceiving anyone? Are you lying or cheating? Do thoughts of pride and revenge occupy you? Are you bitter and unforgiving? These are signs that you are in sin. Realize that you have offended God and have broken his dharma. You can call out to God and say, “I am sorry for sinning against you. Please help me turn away from sin and save me from this pandemic.”
- Learn: This Christmas, learn about Jesus. Who is he? Why did he come? Why did he die? Is it possible that he died to save me from my sins? Read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible. Ask a friend who believes in Jesus to help you in this. You can call out to God and say, “God, please show me the truth about Jesus. Show me if he is the Son of God who came to save me.”
- Believe: If the Spirit of Jesus is working in your heart to embrace him, take courage and believe. Speak with God and say, “I receive you, Jesus. Thank you for dying for me. I believe in you. Please forgive me and show me how to follow you.”
If you are walking towards Jesus or have come to know him, you are not alone! Yeshu Samaj is a community of people from Indian background, who have come to know and follow Yeshu. Feel free to write to us and connect with us. May God lead you in your journey.
Merry Christmas! Happy Yeshu Jayanti!
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