By Stuart Powell
At this time of year, Christians proudly proclaim, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
The statement is intended to counteract cultural forces that are attempting to remove Jesus as the foundation of Christmas. Many people push to make the celebration about family, children, and giving gifts. Christians know there is more to Christmas—and we want to share that knowledge.
We celebrate with confidence Jesus’ birth, a historical event and a major part of our identity as Christians. As believers we continually focus on the Son of God’s indescribable birth in Bethlehem. We display our conviction that a very special Jewish baby boy was born in first-century Israel. As an infant, he was saved from Herod the Great’s plan to kill him. He fled to Egypt but grew up as an observant Jew in Nazareth of Galilee.
At about age 30, he began a ministry unlike any rabbi before or since. He spoke God’s Word with authority. He performed miracles. He forgave sin. At the end of his three-year ministry, he was wrongly convicted, crudely executed, and hastily buried in Jerusalem. Then, just as Scripture foretold, he rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven. He is now seated on a glorious throne, but he continues to intercede for those who follow him and is preparing to return to earth to rescue the faithful.
This Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas.
And so, while saying “Jesus is the reason for the season” is true, it is not complete. Jesus is not the reason only for this season! Listen to what Paul said:
For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lordʼs. For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living(Romans 14:7-9, New English Translation).
As believers, we need to embrace the truth that Jesus is the reason for every season, every situation, every aspect of every day of our lives—our past, present, and future. He not only is our reason for every season, he is our strength for every season.
We partake of these emblems to thank him for his sacrifice. We eat the bread in celebration that Jesus took away our sin. We drink of the cup of thanksgiving in recognition that Jesus daily enables us to overcome anything this broken world throws our way. Jesus is the reason for the season—and more. Jesus is our reason for life!
Stuart Powell lives outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, where he serves with the North Side Christian Church.