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Remember the reason for this holiday season

As families prepare for Christmas, colorful lights twinkle in night’s darkness while plastic Santa Claus figures, waving snowmen and an occasional nativity scene sit on lawns. Gifts will be wrapped in colorful paper and placed under lighted trees decorated with ornaments which sparkle amongst the lights.

At family get-togethers, cameras will capture people smiling as they open their gifts, while photos of others who enjoy rather rambunctious Christmas parties will be snapped participating in worldly foolishness. Unfortunately, a day which is supposed to celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ has become a mere holiday where frivolity and traditions have overshadowed, not only Jesus’s birth, but the real “reason for the season.”

Dec. 25 is rapidly approaching and, although The New Testament speaks of the circumstances of Jesus’s virgin birth and where He was born, nowhere in God’s Holy Word is recorded a birthdate of or birthday celebration for Jesus Christ. Could it be that God being omniscient knew that mankind would create a day for religious and pagan traditions rather than celebrating Jesus’s birth and the life-giving reason for it? Did God know that Satan would busy our minds with everything but the wonderous reason for Jesus’s coming? Did God know that Jesus would be overlooked on His very own birthday? Of course, God knew, and man has done all the above.

But what exactly are so many people celebrating on Dec. 25, a date most likely associated with pagan feasts and festivals? Candidly, it can’t be Jesus Christ’s birth since it’s been hidden under decorations, parties, presents, etc. Regrettably, after the gifts have been put away, trees taken down and lights and tinsel stored for another year, Jesus will quickly fade from mind with no thought as to why God sent His only begotten Son to earth. (John 3:16)

Truth is, Christmas is an enjoyable time with our family and friends. Unfortunately, millions don’t understand what the real reason for celebrating Jesus’s birth is. By delving into the undergirding of Christianity… not religion… we find that Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection… not His birth… is the solid foundation of genuine Christianity. Jesus was born to die. Perhaps perceived as a shocking and appalling thought, God’s Holy Word tells us that truth! “….God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8/Hebrews 2:9-17). Yes, He died for us in order to bear our sins, and to make atonement for our iniquities!

As told in the Old Testament, animal blood sacrifices were continually necessary for forgiveness of sin (Hebrew 10:18), but, because God became human in Jesus Christ ((John 10:38b), no longer are animal blood sacrifices necessary (Hebrew 10:1-18). Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for each of us. His untainted blood was shed so we can freely obtain both forgiveness for our sins, and everlasting life (Hebrew 10:17,18). We have only to believe (Acts 16:31a)!

Kindly stated, celebrating Christmas will mean little if the reality of Jesus’s brutal death (crucifixion), burial and resurrection aren’t seriously accepted and earnestly believed! Without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, Christmas, despite all its merriment and gift giving, will be just another holiday.

But the Christmas celebration can and will be filled with overwhelming happiness, joy and thankfulness, if we accept God’s gift ‘wrapped’ in the Lord’s blood and eternally secured by His mercy, grace and endless love. That gift is eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

When God’s gift is accepted, there will be mighty rejoicing in knowing the real life-giving reason for the Christmas season! “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable (too wonderful for words) gift.” (II Corinthians 9:15)

Nancy Hamilton

Member of Souls Harbor

Baptist Church

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