The True Reason for the Season

Jim Denison ponders: I have been thinking lately about the strange phenomenon that is Christmas in America. Why don’t more Americans do the same at Christmas? Millions of Americans have never heard the true story of Christmas. They may know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but they have no idea why. The point of Christmas is that the one born in Bethlehem “will save his people from their sins.”  Here’s the problem: if we don’t believe that we need to be saved, why would we celebrate the birth of a Savior? 

As the pandemic proves every day, no amount of human effort can prevent our eventual death from some cause. Unless Jesus returns first, we will all die of something. What if the COVID-19 virus suddenly mutated so that it would infect every human and cause 100 percent mortality? What if there were no vaccine that worked against this mutated strain? This is where we are now with the virus called death. 

This is precisely what Jesus was born to do—to die for our sins so we could be forgiven and receive eternal life by the grace of Almighty God. 

Max Lucado asks “If we could save ourselves, why would we need a Savior?” He notes that “Jesus didn’t enter the world to help us save ourselves. He entered the world to save us from ourselves” (his italics). Then he adds: “You might save yourself from a broken heart, going broke or running out of gas.  But, you’re not good enough to save yourself from sin; you aren’t strong enough to save yourself from death.” 

Think of it: if Jesus had not been born on Christmas, you and I would spend eternity separated from God in hell. Because Jesus was born, we can be born again. Because he died for us, He can live in us. And when we die, we do not die—in that instant, we are raised to life with him in his eternal paradise. 

If someone discovered the cure for death itself, would we not celebrate their birth and gift with indescribable joy? The fact that so many do not do so at Christmas can only mean that they do not know what Jesus did for them or do not understand why they need what he came to give. 

It is our privilege to celebrate the true reason for the season and then to share this good news with everyone we can.

–By Rev. Dr. William Lewis