Summary: When standing next to a young girl looking at Christmas tree ornaments, she turned to her mother and asked in puzzled tone why one ornament read, 'Jesus is the reason for the season.' Could it be she had no idea of the Christ of Christmas.
On the Christian Church’ calendar, the weeks leading up to Christmas are called, ‘Advent.’ It is a time to reflect and prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Over the next few weeks ending at our Christmas Eve service, I want to talk to you, appropriately enough, about Jesus and answer 4 questions pertaining to Christmas: The,Where? Who? How? and Why? of Christmas or specifically questions about Jesus. This will take us into some deep theology, but hopefully give us a greater appreciation for the truth in the statement, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
This focus on Jesus came to me after an incident down in Amish country. If you remember, a couple of weeks ago Helen and I were away for the weekend celebrating our 45th anniversary. We went down to the Pennsylvania Dutch country for that where we spent half of our honeymoon. We did the usual things one does there; We saw the Sight & Sound theater production of Moses; ate at Miller’s Smorgasbord; took a buggy ride and shopped in those quaint stores. It happened that we were in a lovely Christmas store in a Christmas village of assorted shops. The likelihood of running into an Orthodox Jew, devout Muslim or Hindu I venture would be rather slim in such a setting. So as we browsed among the trinkets, Helen was looking at some tree ornaments that said; “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But as she was making her selection, a young girl, maybe 10 came alongside, looked at the ornaments, and asked her mother in a puzzled tone, “Why does it say that?” “Why does it say, Jesus is the reason for the season?”
How sad is that, that this young girl had no idea about the truth of the saying, Jesus is the reason for the season! If our younger generations have no idea that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, then we are in danger of becoming a Non-Christian nation.
So this year, I will not be speaking about the usual Christmas story characters. No prophets foretelling, no angels rejoicing, no shepherds bowing in awe. This year I want our focus to be simply on Jesus, Jesus as the reason for the season. I will address 4 Christmas questions. The answers to these questions will take us into some profound areas and mysteries of our faith. As Pastor Greg spoke about last week, these areas are “Meat” not “Milk”, not for kindergarten Christians, but truths that will grow our faith.
Next week, the 14th, will be the question; WHO? Who is this Christ whose birth we celebrate.
On Dec.21st the question will be; HOW? How did Christmas come to pass.
Then on Christmas Eve, the question will be; WHY? Why was Christmas necessary.
But I start today with the first question, WHERE? Where did the idea Originate?
To answer this question, “Where did the idea of Christmas originate?” we must go back in time.
Past all the centuries of Christian traditions; even past the actual birth in Bethlehem.
Down the halls of time, past the prophets foretelling, past the types such as Moses.