As the presents are wrapped under the tree and we anticipate the joy of the celebrations to come, we have to take a moment or two to reflect on and feel our continuing need. We need Jesus. We really need Him to come again to this world and finish the story of redemption. We need a King who will make it all right again.

Today, in the church, we talk a lot about making a difference. We talk about being a people of impact. We spend more time taking mission trips trying to make things better. And that is good. Christians have always worked to make life better… living and producing fruit that is in line with the gracious and loving character of God.

But with all the good stuff we do, we must remember… the world is still headed toward a devastating end. I don’t see in Scripture that we will make things better until finally Jesus comes strolling into a world that is fit for Him. Instead the opposite is true. We will serve and be faithful and the world with its systems will run farther and farther away from God until Jesus comes and restores it in power and justice.

Through us God can and will create pockets of change. But in the end, we still need Jesus. We can see people fed, water cleaned up, diseases eradicated, but we will not see our final redemption until the return of Jesus Christ. And that is why, we don’t just need good works, we need the gospel message. We need to see and take every opportunity to share the hope we have in Jesus – a blessed hope.

I hope your celebrations are full of joy. But I hope they don’t cover our longing for the coming of Jesus Christ and the redemption of all He loves. Because we still need Jesus.