Guess what’s on my mind today?
Ha ha…I know, surprise surprise, right? It’s on everyone’s mind. It’s everywhere we look. Sale ads, commercials, decorations, even the cold temperatures and snow constantly remind us that December 25 is just days away. Like many of us, I’m concerned about where our focus is concentrated this time of year. We get so easily sidetracked by the gift lists, the shopping, the decking of the halls, the party planning and attending. Even those of us who want to avoid the commercial-consumption-filled-Holiday find our schedules overloaded. Maybe they’re overloaded with good things like Church services, volunteer opportunities, and family events, but overloaded is overloaded. So, the question is, what are we all very likely missing as we look forward to celebrating Christmas day?
Amid the Christmas rush… In the middle of the mounting bills…In the insanity of our schedules…What are we all losing sight of?
All together now…We’ve forgotten the reason for the season!
But, what exactly IS the reason for the season?
Right now you’re probably thinking…DUH…Jesus is the reason for the Season! Haven’t you seen it plastered on coffee mugs, t-Shirts, bumper stickers, and Facebook statuses?! Jesus is the Reason for the Season! Just ask anyone who believes in more than a big red-suited guy who delivers presents with the help of eight (or nine depending on whether they need Rudolph’s red nose, I guess) mammals who have no business flying outside of the magic of North Pole. Of course, Jesus is the reason for the season!
Would you hate me if I say I don’t necessarily agree with that?
Before you write me off as misled, heretical, or just plain CRAZY…let me reassure you. I believe Jesus Christ is THE son of God. He is the King of Kings and the Savior of the World.
In fact, I would say without hesitation that Jesus is the Creator of the Season.
There would BE no Christmas without Jesus. He is the Creator of EVERYTHING!
The Bible says, “Through (Jesus) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:3
“He came into the very world he created…” ~ John 1:10 (NIV)
So, yes, Jesus is the Creator of Christmas.
I would go even further to say that Jesus is the Focus of the Season.
What He came to do is amazing! I hope to never lose sight of what Jesus was committing to by coming into the world as a baby born in the humblest of circumstances.
“He appeared as a man. He came down to the lowest level. He obeyed God completely, even though it led to his death. In fact, he died on a cross.” ~ Philippians 2:8 (NIrV)
So, yes, Jesus is the Creator of the Season and Jesus is the Focus of the Season! He is the Who, the What, the When, the Where, and even the HOW of Christmas.
But, my friend, we are the WHY!
So, that’s why I believe the Reason for the Season is…
“He came into the world…for you.” ~ 1 Peter 1:20 (NIrV)
Isn’t that incredible? The Creator of all that is, the Master of the universe, the Lord of all, gave up equality with God and chose to come to that low level as a human being. He chose to live a humble life in order to show us the way to do it. He chose to die in a horrific way…for YOU!
But, maybe you’re a little like me and you can’t imagine that you could be the reason for this Season. Maybe you look at others and see Wonder Woman or Superman when you feel like the Queen or King of Chaos! I can so relate to that.
And, maybe you’re asking, why me? Why would Jesus come into this world…for me?
Well, my question is, why not you?
You are a child of the one true God. You are His creation. And, besides, all that stuff you try so desperately to hide from the world, from your friends, your family, and maybe even from your spouse…He already knows. He already sees. Every impure thought, every time you say those hurtful words to your loved ones, every time you try but fail, every time you fail to try…God knows, God sees, but He LOVES you anyway.
David the Psalmist understood this well. He got the fact that God knows us, INTIMATELY, inside and out. He had some understanding of the fact that it’s pointless to hide anything from God. In fact, he wrote about it:
1 Lord, you have seen what is in my heart.
You know all about me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know what I'm thinking even though you are far away.
3 You know when I go out to work and when I come back home.
You know exactly how I live.
4 Lord, even before I speak a word,
you know all about it.
5 You are all around me. You are behind me and in front of me.
You hold me in your power.
6 I'm amazed at how well you know me.
13 You created the deepest parts of my being.
You put me together inside my mother's body.
~ Psalm 139, 1-6, 13 (NIrV)
So, yes, God created you, He sees you, He knows all there is to know about you. Even things you don’t know fully yourself. But, here’s the exciting part…He LOVES YOU!
“The LORD your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17 (CEV)
So, why not you? He created you; He knows you, and HE LOVES YOU!
AND, He knew this was the Only Way!
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard...” Romans 3:23
What is sin anyway? Isn’t it simply choosing to go our way instead of His way?
So, yes, we’ve all done it. If we’ve ever even entertained a THOUGHT that goes
against what He wants for us…we’ve sinned. So, we were all headed to eternal
separation from God.
But, He provided a way…
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 6:23 (NLT)
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ John 14:6 (NIrV)
And, you know what’s seriously cool? He planned it all along!
Sometimes I fool myself into thinking God had to scramble for plan B after Adam
and Eve chose to disobey and take that fateful bite of fruit. Sometimes I imagine
God saying to Himself, “Oh great! I created this perfect place for them. I gave
them everything they need. All I asked was that they not eat from ONE little tree.
But did they listen? NNNNnnnooo! Now I’ve got to figure out another way to get
‘em into heaven. Why don’t they just LISTEN?!”
Isn’t that ridiculous. This is God we’re talking about here. He’s all powerful, all
present, and ALL KNOWING. He knew we would choose to sin. And, He
PLANNED a way to save us from ourselves from the very beginning!
“Long before God laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ…He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.” ~ Ephesians 1:3-6 (The Message)
I don’t know about you, but this gets me all jazzed up. I AM THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. Doesn’t feel so strange to say that now. Why don’t you practice it? Go ahead…don’t worry about your co-workers, or the other customers at Panera, or even your family. They need to know this truth, too. So, go on, shout it out! Or, at least say it out loud. And, then maybe share the good news with someone close by. Can you imagine the encouragement you could give with those words? YOU are the Reason for the Season. Jesus is the Creator of the Season, He is the Focus of the Season. He is the Who, the What, the When, the Where, and even the HOW. But YOU are the Reason for the Season!!!
I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe you’ve received some really bad news from the Doctor. Maybe your child is hurting. Maybe you don’t know how you’ll provide food and heat this month, let alone a “MERRY” Christmas. (If you know of someone in this position, make sure you nominate their need to be met at www.icanhelpcentralillinois.org!) But, there’s one thing you can be certain of. It was BECAUSE OF YOU that Jesus came into this world. And, He would have done it if YOU were the only one to believe it, ever. YOU mean that much to Him!
So, on the days we feel like Wonder Woman or Super Man (or Lego Batman on the video game my husband and daughter are playing right now) OR the Queen or King of Chaos…these are the words that can get us through…WE are the Reason for this Season!
LOVE to you this weekend, and here are some words from one of my all time favorite Christmas songs to help you as you trudge through heartbreak, the mall, or both…
We Are the Reason
by David Meece
As little children we would dream of Christmas morn
And all the gifts and toys we knew we'd find
But we never realized a baby born one blessed night
Gave us the greatest gift of our lives
As the years went by we learned more about gifts
And giving of ourselves and what that means
On a dark and cloudy day a man hung crying in the rain
Because of love Because of love
And we were the reason that he gave his life
We were the reason that he suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all he could give
To show us the reason to live!