From my Desk: the reason for the season

As we enter the Christmas season its easy to get caught up in all the busyness. There is lots of work to wrap up for the holidays or extra work during the holidays in some cases, presents to shop for friends and family, travel to visit loved ones, cold and flu to fight off, and much more activities. All this breeds stress and distracts us from the true purpose of Christmas.

A big part of Christmas is gifts. I know as a little kid I was mostly focused on the mystery of what was in those neatly wrapped packages under the tree. I also wondered about Santa Claus. How did he fit in the Chimney? How did he visit everyone in one night? How many elves did he have? The mystery surrounding Christmas captivated me. But what was lost while I was lost in mystery was the simple, yet profound truth of what Christmas was all about.

The reason for the season is Jesus. All of our worries, stress, and troubles are nothing compared to his gift of love. He came 2,000 years ago so that we comprehend divinity and he comprehend humanity. He came so that we may have a personal relationship with him. He came to give his life for our sins and that we may receive grace instead of punishment. We celebrate Christmas to pay respects to his death and throw a big party for his coming into this world.

The true gift of Christmas is not the presents we give each other, but the present God gave us in his son and the gift of eternal life. These truths may not, on the surface, contain the mysteries of Santa to me as a child, but when we really think of it, are much more profound and mysterious. Why would a perfect God want to suffer as a man. Why should we receive grace? How could we relate and compare to a God so great? Why would a perfect divinity want a close relationship with us? The only answer that makes sense is a Love so great and mysterious that it surpasses our understanding. When we mediate on these truths we come back to the center of Christmas. The only appropriate response is a humbled adoration to Jesus. So as you go about this season stressed or anticipating presents or food remember Jesus. Let this be the time to re-calibrate our priorities and put him first. Merry Christmas!

(Originally published in the newspaper The Hespirian Beacon on 12/16/19)

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