Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (NIV)
My town of Mission has the delightful tradition of hosting a Christmas candlelight parade on the first Friday night of December. Our church often enters a float in the parade, and this year we did so with special enthusiasm. The message of the float was clear: It has been "2000 years since Jesus was born!". On a 53-foot drop-deck flat-bed trailer, we had the number "2000" in a six-foot-high plywood cut-out, and the message in twelve inch lettering below it. Also on the float were a manger scene and a three-tier birthday cake with "candles": "Happy Birthday Jesus!" The reaction from the crowd was just as we suspected: "Is it 2000 years since Jesus was born? What a coincidence! Oh… I see!"
What an opportunity the year 2000 is for the Christian community to focus attention on Jesus Christ, because Y2K is all about Jesus! Most of the older generation was taught that the year-numbering system we use is based on the premise that the birth of Jesus divided all history into two parts, B.C., before Christ, and A.D. "Anno Domini", Latin for "the year of our Lord". In recent times, scholars have debated the exact year of Christ's birth, and the forces of political correctness and secularization have meant that the role of Christ in the dating system has been downplayed or removed. So the younger generation has not been taught this origin of our dating system. Not only do people not associate the year 2000 with the birth of Christ, but some in scientific circles are using the term "B.C.E." instead, standing for "Before Common Era". Isn't it absolutely amazing that after 2000 years, Christ is still a contender for people's loyalty? Isn't it astounding that people are still finding that they can have a personal relationship with Jesus? Indeed, He is a living personality. Though people may intentionally try to downplay the year 2000 as dated from the birth of Christ, it will always remain true. Isn't it remarkable that Christ has so much power in today's world that we still celebrate His birthday after 2000 years? Christians need to remember to draw people's attention to these things, as a way of honouring Christ in the year of our Lord 2000.
Prayer: Lord of all ages, as we enter the year 2000, enable us, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, to honour and celebrate Your Son Jesus Christ by mentioning to our friends that these 2000 years are numbered from His birth. In His name we pray. Amen.