Monday, December 19, 2016

The Reason For the Season

I feel like that phrase has become cliche. We say it to remind ourselves that Christmas isn't just about presents and Santa and lights and Christmas trees and cookies and parties and special movies...but how much do we think about what Christmas is really about?

Christmas is about Jesus' birth. That is what we're celebrating. We think of a cozy stable and sweet-smelling hay and angels singing and adoring shepherds, and we get the warm fuzzies over this classic, Jesus-centered Christmas scene. But I still think we're missing the point. (Though as a side note, go read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. It'll give you a new perspective on that picturesque little scene we're all so familiar with.)

It kind of bugs me that we make such a big to do over Christmas, but not over Easter. Don't get me wrong, I have zero problem with making a big deal about Christmas--I love all the celebration and traditions and everything--it's the contrast in culture that bothers me. Christmas is this whole season that everyone's a part of, and unless you do Lent, Easter is confined to one little weekend. Like we're saying the Christmas story is the one that matters most.

And the Christmas story does matter. It matters very much. But I think we tend to forget that Christmas is just the beginning of the story. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary in the fulfillment of countless prophecies, angels and people worshiped him as an infant, wise men followed His star from the East to give him gifts.

And then.

Jesus grew. He taught the people. Performed miracles. Made the Jews angry enough to put Him to death. And in doing so, Jesus took our sins upon Himself and paid the price for them all. He died so that we might live. He suffered the unspeakable consequences that we deserve for our sins so that if we repent and believe, we will be redeemed--freed from all the consequences of our sin. And He rose from the grave because death isn't the end of the story. He rose and went to live with the Father in Heaven, just as we will someday live with God forever.

So this Christmas season--when you remember the reason for the season--don't stop at the wise men. Follow the story through to the conclusion. Because Christmas is only the beginning of the greatest story there ever was.

The story of how God so loves us that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we might someday have eternal life.

P.S. This will be my last post of the year. I'll be back after New Year's with a recap of my 2016. See you then and Merry Christmas!

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