Summary: YOU are the reason for the Season called Christmas!
The Reason for the Season
Scripture: John 10:1-10
John 10:10 “I came so that they”
Every Christmas season there’s a point when my spirit becomes agitated with Christmas. The disruption comes and goes all during the festivities. It usually occurs in November or can be as late as December. This year it happened to me the second week of November. I was walking through Conestoga Mall when “it” happened. I became agitated with the consumerism rushing past me on route to the next store. Shoppers were pressing to buy another bag to add to their already over-loaded arms. The race was on before the Market-bell announced closure for the night. Every Christmas I feel concern about richness squandered instead of shared with people who really need it. I ponder, I perplex and I puzzle about what people really believe The Reason for the Season to be. While I’m going through that I’m also dealing with the convictions of what I live and reflect as The Reason for the Season.
We decide every Christmas Season what The Reason for the Season means for us. For some it is selfishly driven and not a time of “good will toward men”. Others become trapped as they merely try to “get with the program” of gift-buying for people they seldom have much to do with and handing out well-wishes that in many cases don’t live past Christmastime. Many others try to keep their eyes focused on Christ in Christmas. They not only want that during Christmas but are hopeful that the experience of Christ in Christmas defines the spirit of their living all year.
The Bible teaches us valuable principles that can help us never lose sight of The Reason for the Season. The first step in this awareness and development is to understand:
1. HE IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
I found not fewer than fifteen Bible verses that can illustrate the points I’m to share today. I’ve chosen only specific verses for each theme that best capture the lesson. For this first lesson we travel back to time to Isaiah 7 where Isaiah gives us the sign of Messiah. Among his details is the indication that Mary would call him “Immanuel” which Isaiah says in verse 14 means “God with us”. The other verse is Luke 5:32 (The Message): “I’m here inviting outsiders – not insiders – an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.”
David Gregory, author and conference speaker, wrote a book called “Dinner with a Perfect Stranger”. It is a fictional story of Nick Cominsky who received a dinner invitation from Jesus. He had a difficult time believing that the person across the table from him was actually Jesus. He thought his friends were up to their practical jokes and this was too much. Jesus made the comment that it wasn’t quite what Nick expected and that if he’d give it a try it would be quite meaningful. Nick responded, “Of course! Who wouldn’t find a dinner with Jesus meaningful? Last week I had dinner with Napoleon. Socrates the week before. But Jesus! Thank you so much for coming all the way from the Holy Land!”
Isn’t this story a reflection of our own experiences sometimes, in some ways? The idea of “God with us” is too much to absorb. We can’t fathom that Cosmic Creator left the Holy Land of the mysterious expanse and came down among us! That is beyond credibility! Well, He did; and He’s here! He is the Reason for the Season!
Renowned author and pastor, Max Lucado teases out the theology of “God with us” in his book “He chose the Nails”. Lucado invites us to browse through the racks of religious options and sweet deals clamoring for us to sell out to what they’re offering. Among the options is this quality ‘Product’ called Jesus Who alone gives us “an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.”
“You want to see the brightest jewel in the treasure of incarnation? When God entered time and became a man, he who was boundless became bound. Imprisoned in flesh. Restricted by weary-prone muscles and eyelids. For more than three decades, his once limitless reach would be limited to the stretch of an arm, his speed checked to the pace of human feet.”
Our focus as we look to capture The Reason for the Season definitely includes the person and presence of God in the world. Without Him there’s only good works for the sake of works that can help us find some sanity to the lunacy of the rush and rumble of Christmas. Without him the central message of “peace on earth” is overshadowed with anxiety and debt! Without Christ at the core of Christmas the reality is nothing more than time off work. It is as Labour Day or the Easter Bunny.