A rich and noble woman died in Germany in the 19th century at the age of 30. Until her last breath, she had been vehemently opposing the possibility of life after death. In accordance with her convictions, she was to be buried under a heavy marble plate encircled by a massive stone wall locked with iron chains. Her will was fulfilled. There was an inscription on her grave, which read, “This place of burial belongs to Ms. X., and it must remain untouched forever. It is strongly forbidden to open the grave.” So, she challenged the Almighty even from her grave.

However, there was a little seed that had gotten under the tombstone. It started to sprout and finally reached the surface. The root of the tree grew bigger and bigger until a huge tree appeared above the grave. Its mighty roots made the wall crash; the iron chains were broken, and the tombstone was lifted by the power of life. Life triumphed in the place where everything was cursed to death. A tall oak towers over that woman’s grave now, as a silent witness of the truth and a visible rebuttal of the dead lady’s disbelief.

Common folks who live in that region look at that monument in terror. Indeed, there is no stone and no fence that can hide us from God’s righteous judgment. Everyone will stand before God on the last day. No matter how hard people try to disprove God’s truth with their skepticism or opposition, the time will come when the truth shall reveal itself indisputably. The time will come when all will be silenced in front of God, when every eye shall see Him, and every unbelieving soul will be held to bow to Him.

This pre-Nativity season calls us to a prayerful, reflective preparation. Once more, we are given the opportunity to call to mind the three advents of Christ.

The First Coming of Christ — when He came to us as a babe in Bethlehem and died for us on the cross. This is what we celebrate on Christmas Day and throughout the following Christmas season.

The Second Coming of Christ — the certainty that Christ is with us. Just as the future world in Christ has already begun, this also provides the comfort of hope.

The Third Coming of Christ — at the end of time His third coming, when Christ will return and be seen by all in His glory and majesty.

We pray that we all will be blessed while reflecting on God’s loving kindness during this joyous season and wish for a happy Feastday to come.