Friday, December 11, 2009

A Christmas Wish: Jesus is the Reason for the Season, by Ralph Petersen

Another busy holiday season is here and our thoughts are turned to family, gifts, goodwill, and world peace. And have you noticed that there seems to be an aggressive effort to secularize this season and remove all references to religion in general and Jesus Christ in particular? That seems ludicrous to me; the reason for the season is all about the celebration of the birth of a baby who made the greatest impact on this world in all of human history. Without Him, Nick would not be a saint, Frosty would not be merry, Rudolf would have no reason to light the darkness and the little drummer boy would have no reason to play his drum.

We are all somewhat familiar with the events around this baby’s birth as they are related in our traditions and recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. To some, He was a prophet, a teacher, a religious leader or a martyr. But He was much, much more than that.

In the opening verses of his Gospel, John reveals something very profound about the unique nature of this baby:

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…Everything that was made was made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made…In Him was life…And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Have you heard the contemporary Christmas carol, “Mary, Did You Know?” Ponder these great words from that song:

Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you delivered will soon deliver you…

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

When you’ve kissed your little baby, then you’ve kissed the face of God.

Think about that. The world loves the little baby. But that little baby is God. It is improper, if not irrelevant to consider His entrance into the world without understanding His purpose in coming. This is the King of Creation wrapped in rags and placed in a filthy feeding trough. He’s the Righteous One of the Universe who opens His arms of love to the wicked. He is the Giver of Life and He came to die. The One who makes the Law and the only One who has ever kept the Law; the Judge of the world comes to offer complete pardon and mercy. The highest is made lowly and humble. In Him, poverty becomes riches, tears become joy, death becomes life, trash becomes treasures and sinners become saints.

And, by the way, the Christmas story, by itself, is a non-event. It is incomplete and meaningless without the Easter story. Jesus Christ, God wrapped in flesh, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, died a horrible death on the cross and rose alive on the third day. He did that all for me. He paid the penalty for my sins and satisfied the justice of God. Someone has described that like this: “I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe.”

I hope you too, know that your sins are forgiven and that eternal life is yours. If not, why not just ask him to forgive your sin and receive God’s free gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (II Corinthians 9:15).

Merry Christmas to you all.

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