Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)
TITLE: Christmas - The Message of Truth
By Kevin S. Weir
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J ust how many people will miss Christmas this year? Sadly, most of the world. Even sadder, few can use ignorance as an excuse. Most people in the world have had the chance to hear the Good News of salvation through Jesus, but have chosen to reject it.
E ven among those who claim to have accepted the truth, many “hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). They are just Christian in name. “The Christian ideal… has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
S o true when G K Chesterton wrote those words eighty years ago, how much more true are they today! The whole world seems to be interested in spirituality, but it has to be quick and easy, and on our terms. The truth of Jesus is far too threatening.
U nfortunately, reality isn’t quick and easy. Nor is it on our terms. In fact, it is threatening. The truth is, mankind is doomed because of sin. No matter how righteous we think we are, we cannot measure up to God’s standard. Without supernatural help, we are doomed.
S alvation can only be gained through turning our lives over to Jesus, the Son of God, who was incarnated, lived, died, and rose again in order to save us from the consequences of sin. This is the reality of the world we live in. There is no other way, despite the opinions of “wise” people. No amount of charitable deeds will get us into heaven. Even a perfect Church attendance record falls short of the mark.
C ontrary to popular belief, Christmas is not a Hallmark or Disney event. The “real meaning of Christmas” is not parties, gifts, joy, peace, and family reunions. Although people may gather together to share a Christmas meal, that’s not what Christmas is really about.
H ow nice all this sounds! In fact, none of it is necessarily wrong but, together, all these ideas serve to conceal the actual “reason for the season.” Jesus is not a cute little baby lying in a manger. Nor should He be an excuse for a great international annual binge.
R eally! It’s true! Jesus is the Son of God, not some wise teacher who left us with a whole lot of good sayings and an excuse for a party. He is entitled to all the honor and adoration that is equally the right of God the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is part of the Trinity.
I n coming to earth, He set aside His right to the honor that was due to Him. He came and lived among us as an ordinary man, not as a prince or a king, nor expecting any special treatment. This is the true manifestation of His great love. This God/Man even stooped to wash the feet of His disciples.
S uch sacrificial love should evince reactions like adoration, love, loyalty, and obedience from us but, somehow, the world has transferred its loyalty to material things. The world worships people, things, and itself. It has no place for a just and loving God.
T he manger is always overshadowed by the cross. The Son of man came, not just to live, but also to die. Christmas just set in motion the plan that would lead to Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. It is only through accepting Him as Lord and Savior that we escape the consequences of sin. Let that be our “reason for the season.”
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