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Born to Die
by Alan Allegra
12/01/2014 / Holidays
Do do do do, do do do do, do do do do. Do you recognize that theme song? It's that haunting melody from The Twilight Zone. Can you picture Rod Serling with his folded hands and skinny tie?
I recently watched an episode titled, "Nothing in the Dark." It's about an old woman who has escaped death many times, and is afraid to leave her condemned building or open her door lest Mr. Death find and touch her. I hate to give away the plot, but Mr. Death turns out to be a very pleasant, soothing Robert Redford. Of course, in other episodes, Death is portrayed by other actors, and is perhaps most famously pictured as an Uncle Fester lookalike in the movie "The Seventh Seal" by Ingmar Bergman.
Death is not a person, but is an event that, nonetheless, stalks every one of us. Would that it were as personable and attractive as Robert Redford! Many of us fear death, especially if we don't know what is on the other side.
What does a somber, black, lonely discussion about death have in common with the joyful, red and green, family and friends Christmas season? What is the matter with this author, anyway?
We all know that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. Our perceptions of him can range from a tiny, chipped ceramic baby that gets tucked away 11 months out of the year to the Creator King and soon coming Son of God. We can turn to a more reliable source than Rod Serling to find out about the Christ of Christmas and the demeanor of death.
The birth of Jesus heralded more than an excuse to party and shop. He came for many reasons, but two of them are relevant to our theme. Jesus came so that "through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery" (Hebrews 2:14b - 15). Jesus was born to die. He died to take away the fear of death that so haunted the hero of Mr. Serling's story.
That is not the end of the story. A second reason that Jesus came from heaven to earth that first Christmas day was, in his words, "that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:10 - 11). His death not only put a comforting face on death, it also secured the promise of eternal life.
Ironically, Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling was born on December 25, 1924. He died June 28, 1975. He was a brilliant writer, spending much of his life probing the creepy side of life and fantasy. Although he left behind a treasure trove of great words and memories, his death accomplished little else besides guaranteeing a place in Wikipedia. Jesus spent his life lifting people up and exposing the light of grace and truth. His death and resurrection opened the portal through the twilight zone of fear and revealed a future where "night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever" (Revelation 22:5). There will be no Night Gallery, only a light gallery.
Jesus also left behind a treasure trove of great words and memories. In contrast to human words that will one day be forgotten, Jesus said, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).
Don't be afraid to open the door to let Jesus in this Christmas (Revelation 3:20)!
lan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! Click here and TRUST JESUS NOW
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