Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20).
It's already started. In some places, 2011 has walked boldly onto history's stage. Where I sit, on the west coast of America, her entry is only hours away.
More accurately, the year is 2011 A. D., which stands for anno domini -- Latin for "year of our Lord [Jesus Christ].” Two thousand and eleven years ago, on a silent night in the Jewish town of Bethlehem, God slipped into human history and made Himself incarnate. The Triune, Almighty and eternal God became a human being we call Jesus. Born to a Jewish virgin named Miriam -- better known as Mary – God-incarnate grew into a man who then took our sins upon Himself to a cross.
And there He died in our place so we would not have to experience eternal death.
There are other calendars used by different cultures and religions; Chinese, Muslim, Indian, for example. But the de facto calendar, the calendar around which virtually the entire planet's history revolves for reference to notable events, for business transactions, correspondence, and mundane affairs are measured from that event 2,011 years ago. That is why historians date events prior to God's incarnation as B.C. – before Christ, and those occurring afterward as A.D. – the year of our Lord. Modern attempts to camouflage God’s divine intervention into our history with terms like B.C.E. for "before the common era," and C.E. for "the common era" serve only to illustrate how deep, wide, broad and unbroachable was God's intervention into the affairs of humankind.
That cataclysmic event 2,011 years ago was not something that simply ‘happened.’ For centuries, God promised through His prophets His incarnation would change history. For example, more than 700 years B.C., the Jewish prophet Isaiah wrote of Jesus: Unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be upon His shoulders. And His name will be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace (Isaiah 9:6-7). And neither is it a surprise that so many people scoff at that seminal event. Here’s what King David wrote 1000 years B.C.: Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the lord and against His Anointed, saying, 'Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us’ (Psalm 2:1-3).
And so here we are, you and I, on the cusp of another calendar year marking the anniversary of when God became a man so men and women might become godly. Beginning tomorrow, January 1st, virtually all people, languages, religions, and cultures will begin marking their days, their events, business transactions, and their personal histories from the time when God personally and physically interacted with humanity. We are on the cusp of a new year, a new beginning, full of . . . full of . . . well, only God knows what 2011 will be full of.
But I do know this: You and I are also on the cusp of a uniquely wonderful opportunity for a new relationship with our eternal and almighty Creator and Lover. New Year’s Eve, or for some of you as I write this, New Year’s Day, is a perfect time to begin that relationship.