The Reason for the Season!

21 Dec

Even the largest pessimist around is, at this point, likely to concede that the Mayan calendar is not an accurate end of the world prognostication. I would assume that is not likely a surprise to most of us, but it is amazing how much our culture is willing to look at things other than the True Source of Knowledge for knowledge. Disregarding the similarities to y2k for now, where we put our faith in computer technology now disposable as thirteen years old, I think the core issue is the same as it always is—we put our faith in something other than God.

As we are in the season of Advent and looking to Christmas, I see the exact same tendency here. Culturally, it’s easy to see that people want to give a lot of dap to a mythical, cheery, fat guy (I’m generally all for giving credit to phat guys). They want to invent myths about magical reindeer and snowmen. They want to create stories that do not, at their core, point back to Christ.

Some of us will now point to our holiday liturgy and its noted absence of these worldly foci. However, we are quite competent at taking God’s glory on our own, without the aid of these cultural icons. For many, particularly those who are (or those who have) kids, the focus is often on presents or a tree or planned events or familial one-upmanship. There are so many idols that this holiday can generate that I feel bad naming some, as I have naturally skipped many others.

While there certainly is nothing wrong with any of these things on their own, and many can use these things to point to Christ, most of us do not. Most of us are content to find some socially compatible method of celebrating where we can give a little lip-service to The Baby coming without really worrying about the true reason that it actually happened.

My music leader and pastor, Greg, has been leading us in a song with some frequency lately that has a chorus which asserts, “All I have is Christ. Jesus is my life!” Anything that takes away that focus from Christ is an idol and just because someone else is able to use it to point to Christ does not mean it is naturally something that we should do.

I believe we must be super-intentional about what we do. Realizing that everything we do can be an opportunity to do something that points to Christ in one way or another, to give way to things that point elsewhere is misuse of, or bad stewardship over, our resources.

So as we celebrate this holiday, let us not be like the culture that seeks to discredit the only One to whom credit should be given. Let us be characterized as those who seek to do all we can to point people back to The Baby born all those years ago. Even more so than that, let us tell why He came.

He came that our sins may be covered, as we were caught in the clutches of sin. He came to live a perfect life, then to pay the penalty reserved for us. Now, we have the Gift that He offers, and imputes to us His own righteousness. And, thankfully, He is no longer angry with me. Hopefully during this season, we will call out more with whom He can be no longer angry.


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