You’re probably aware of the two words which have the potential of creating Facebook wars, lawsuits, disgruntled shoppers, and nasty comments from a whole assortment of people who don’t necessarily agree with your brand of religion. Or mine.
Yep, those are the ones.
Another phrase that can light someone’s fuse is, “Jesus is the reason for the season”. Am I right?
Though I understand completely what a person means when they say those words, I wonder how much of it is really true. Do you?
When you hear that phrase, what do you think of? Don’t you associate it with what you already believe?
If you believe God sent His one and only Son to this dark and rebellious world, to live as the last Adam, face the evil one on his own turf, and ultimately become God’s once and for all sacrifice for ALL of mankind, then you associate Christmas with Jesus the Savior.
But what if the season doesn’t include any of that Jesus stuff? What if the Christmas season means something entirely different? You know, it does to many, many people.
Even many who live in your hometown.
But what else could Christmas even remotely mean? After all, didn’t Jesus plan the first Christmas party? Didn’t they have a tree, bedecked with tinsel, colored lights, and an angel mounted on its top standing near the manger?
If He’s the reason for the season, surely He would have done that first Christmas up big! At least, that’s what you and I would have done if we’d been in charge.
So, what do others think about Christmas?
Many associate Christmas with parties, gift giving, mistletoe, family get togethers, more parties, spiked eggnog, vacation, snow, Santa Claus, elves, even more parties, new movie releases, along with maybe a few childhood memories.
And when those people hear “Jesus is the reason for the season”, they can only scratch their unbelieving head and say, “Really? He’s the reason for spiked eggnog and childhood memories?”
And we who believe in Jesus as Savior wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t get it.
Maybe we should reevaluate our view of Christmas. Maybe it would be beneficial if we actually removed Christ from Christmas.
Maybe Xmas is a better way to describe the season.
The Christmas Season doesn’t need Jesus. It’s doing just fine. And Jesus doesn’t need the Christmas Season; His message will hold its own without being watered down with all the extra hype we love to throw in with it.
No, I am not anti gift giving, anti parties, anti anything associated with the Christmas Season (except the spiked eggnog). But it seems to me the Season is becoming more important than the One the Season is SUPPOSED to be about. It’s like, it’s hard to find Jesus amongst the stuff.
So I ask you, as I’ve asked myself, “Jesus is the reason for WHICH season?”
The commercialized, worldwide sales extravaganza or something different?
Possibly He’s the reason for the Easter season. You know, the eggs, bunnies, ham dinners, and new clothes. Hey, don’t get mad at me for not mentioning the Resurrection. That’s not what a lot of people celebrate during the Easter Season.
Maybe He’s the reason for the flu season. After all, it is wintertime.
Or maybe it has something to do with THIS season: the Season of Reckoning.
The season when God begins to judge this world by how they’ve TREATED His Son. He has promised there would come a day when the world would be judged by Jesus, so I don’t have any doubt that Jesus is the reason for THAT season.
Check it out:
“on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 2:16 ESV)
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom…” (2 Timothy 4:1 ESV)
“Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (James 5:9 ESV)
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ESV)
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” (Revelation 20:11-12 ESV)
Folks, I’m inclined to believe Jesus is the reason for the season that’s coming faster than we’d like to think, more than the one people celebrate today. And unfortunately for many, too many, it’s not a season of celebration.
I’m not going rain on anyone’s Christmas parade, or throw rotten eggs at their Easter basket. I’ll still wish you and everyone else a Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. I’m not a total jerk, you know.
But I believe it’s time to begin focusing on a season Jesus is DEFINITELY involved with. A season of rejoicing for some, sure. But for many, unless they get a clearer understanding of that first Christmas, it will be a season of grief and woe.