Tonight we celebrate the birthday of one of our grandchildren. We’ll have chicken, cake and ice cream, plus a lot of other stuff that goes with these birthday basics. It will, we expect, be a very pleasant time.
The birthdays of the martyrs were not celebrated with feasts, however. Indeed, they celebrated with mourning. The friends and relatives of martyrs who died under Roman persecution celebrated their death.
The thought of the transition from this life of suffering and hardships to the heavenly one is something really worth celebrating. Don’t you agree?
Perhaps, we ought to become so much more conscious of what salvation means that, as Christians, we also should consider our deaths, and those who go before, as birthdays into the fullness of eternal life.
Do you think about eternity, about the glories that await you? About walking with the saints of the past? About the new bodies you will receive and the Paradise that you’ll enter? And, of course, at last seeing your Savior. As Paul put it, death for us means “to be with Christ, which is far better.
“Better than what?”
Better than anything in this present age you way compare it with!
It is the best of all. Are you dreading—or looking forward to your eternal birthday? When it comes, may you and yours with genuine conviction say, “Happy birthday!”