Thursday, December 25, 2008

No, Jesus Is the Reason for EVERY Season

Living in post-Christian "culture war" America, evangelical Christians like me have become used to certain catch phrases this time of year, some of which are very well-meaning and not altogether untruthful, that sell like hot cakes in Christian bookstores and the like.

Take, for instance, "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season." The age-old bumper sticker slogan cannot be discounted as blatantly false or misleading. The Christmas season is centered around the nativity of Jesus. Without Him there's no Christmas season. But while true it shortchanges the Reason quite significantly in this respect:

Jesus is the Reason for EVERY season!

Non-Christians the world over can readily accept the historicity of Jesus Christ. They accept Him as a "good" person in history, perhaps a wise man and/or moral exemplar, maybe a prophet, albeit sociopolitical if not theological. All these things men ascribe to Christ. All these things but accepting Jesus as God Himself, to Whom all glory, worship, and obedience is due. 

Jesus's divinity is dismissed, scoffed at at ridiculous, and blasphemed day in and day out, but particularly at Christmastime. Yet Jesus truly is God incarnate, the Second Person of the Trinity tabernacled in human flesh. He was born to live a perfect, sinless life and die a gruesome substitutionary death for sinners. This is the glory of Christmas: God the Son stooping down from glory to take on humanity -- while maintaining his divinity -- to redeem, rescue, and resurrect fallen sinners and ultimately the entire sin-stained fallen universe (Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-10; John 1:1-18).

The problem is not that the world doesn't know Jesus as the reason for the Christmas season, it's that the world doesn't acknowledge Him as the Creator of every season, the holy Judge to whom we must all give account (Heb. 9:27). As the Apostle John recalled (1:9-18):

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, [2] and his own people [3] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, [4] who is at the Father's side, [5] he has made him known.
The world doesn't know who Christ is, but we who have received Him, who believe Him, who have beheld His glory must tell the world who He is and call them to repentance and faith in Him.

Let's do that every day and every season, and let's start by telling people Jesus is the Reason for EVERY season.



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