DETROIT – As the Christmas season swiftly approaches I must confess since a child I’ve always anticipated this season. To be frank I haven’t encountered many scrooge-like personas. Most people truly await the Christmas season. It’s during this time of the year where people of likemind anticipate cheerful Christmas music, and admire the glows from flickering colorful lights and decorations. I’m not much of a hot chocolate guy, but it’s just something mysterious about this time of the year where hot chocolate or a chilled cup of eggnog is consumed.
My family and so many other families embrace this time of the year to gather and share memories, play games and exchange gifts. But as I ever grow in the Lord I also realize this period of the year can be very emotionally weighty. What I mean is that for some this season could also be a solemn reminder that life now may not look and feel like it once did. Some people have had to embrace transitions, loss of loved ones, sickness and despair. And so while Christmas brings joy it can also bring memories. That’s why humanity needs another reason! Reason?
Furthermore as a firm believer in Jesus I am on a constant journey of spiritual maturity in him. What I have discovered over the years is that there is a far greater joy in Christ that lies beneath the Christmas season. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always known Jesus was the reason for the Christmas season.
Growing up in our church as a child we were assigned Christmas speeches and we acted in skits. On another note, like many, our Americanized eyes if only for a short period have been clouded by gifts, music, and the accouterments of a Santa-centered Holiday. As I grow older I am more appreciative and thankful for God's Church because it’s during this season that most churches turn their attention to recognize Advent.
And so I love this time because it provides me the time and space to be both reflective and introspective. It is in my state of reflection that I grow more appreciative and humble because of what God has done for humanity through his sacrificial giving of Jesus Christ. What really makes this season special and rich for Christians is that the Christmas season hangs on the hinges of “true love fulfilled”. What Am I getting at? During ancient biblical times many people like you and I heard the prophetic words preached of a coming Messiah. One prophet by the name of Isaiah, stood and preached
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The reality is that many people heard those life-giving words spoken by Isaiah and they didn’t get a chance to see the promise fulfilled, and yet they died with a hope that God in all of his providence is sending a savior into the world that would be the ultimate answer for the issues and problems.
I get chills just thinking about the unwavering faith of those who believed in Jesus before his arrival. Now, as we live on the other side of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection I can truly sense and feel God's love towards the world. The love that brings new life, and births a faith that can conquer the worst of days. A love fulfilled, and so the prophetic promise spoken by Isaiah were not mere words but the truth of God that would lead to God's plan of salvation for all humanity. It is during this Advent season (last week of November-Dec 24th) that we as the church embrace the real reason for this season.
The virgin birth of Jesus makes the difference during the Holidays. No lights in the world shine brighter than the light God has given us through Jesus. I love Christmas songs. Who doesn't? But, there is no melodic tune that can bring the kind of joy to our hearts like a song written about The Messiah.
Through all human experiences whether joyous or sobering the truth remains that God poured out his loving by graciously giving the world his only son Jesus Christ and it is through him that we have a greater reason to live full and purposeful lives.
Jesus is the Reason for this Season and every season.
I invite you to this prayer:
God, thank you for being a promise keeper, thank you for knowing that we needed a gift that money could not obtain. Thank you for fulfilling your promise in that you sent your Son Jesus Christ into the world and into our hearts so that true Joy would erupt in our hearts. Amen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Clark is the Lead Pastor of S.E.E.D. Church of Detroit, Mi. S.E.E.D. Church exists to help people grow upward in their relationships with Jesus Christ and others.