Remember the reason for the season…
We have grown up hearing for a long time. I know it is something I have been hearing my whole life. But what is the reason for the season that we are remembering? Should we remember our best gifts we have given or the best we have received? Should we remember time with our family or the food which we ate? Should we remember the lights and decorations or the American traditions? Should we remember Santa Claus or sweet baby Jesus? And should we remember Jesus coming down to earth or should we be awaiting his second coming?
To make the answer simple, yes. These are all good things to remember. Christmas is a great time for family and the American traditions we have are not bad. But we also should remember that there is no Christmas without Christ and he cannot take the backseat in our Christmas holidays.
The other morning, I was having breakfast with a large group of pastors in town and one of them was telling us a story. The night before, he and his wife had friends over for dinner when an emergency came up that he had to rush off to, therefore leaving his guests. Before he left, he began making homemade queso dip in the microwave, and when he came home the queso was still in the microwave! He could not believe it he told us! But he started thinking, if the queso was the center of the dinner it never would have been forgotten, but because it was only a side note it fell by the wayside.
We “remember” Jesus during the Christmas holidays, but how much do we really remember him? Like this queso, if Jesus is the center of our Christmas then he never is forgotten or set aside and left. We mention him occasionally and go to church on Christmas Eve, but do not really remember Jesus too often.
We tell our children to remember the reason for the season, but we do not tell them what this reason is. Here is the truth friends, if we do not start teaching our kids the reason for the season then someone else will. Our children do not want to hear us talk the talk if we do not walk the walk. And with the internet at their fingertips, they can be taught by the world what the reason for the season is – to get bigger and better gifts.
I remember as a child one Christmas, I got a remote control car. I went outside at my grandmother’s house and drove it all around, including right in front of the new kid my age who had moved in 3 houses down repeatedly. I was showing off my new shiny toy and he was forced to watch. While he later became one of my closest friends growing up, as a 4th grader, I was remembering the reason for the season which the world told me. The reason is to get the next cool toy which I thought I had.
So as you go about your weekend with Christmas Eve and Christmas, be intentional to set aside time for a tradition which makes Jesus the reason for the season if you have not done this before. Whether it is teaching your children about the advent season and its candles, or talking to them about the story of Christmas and what really happened. Do not get rid of your traditions, but add some that emphasize what we claim to be the reason of the season.
In the birth narrative of Jesus in Luke 1 & 2, there are 4 different outbreaks in song by characters at the introduction of Jesus into the world. So this Christmas season, REJOICE! Rejoice, for the God of the world came to the broken world he created. Rejoice, and teach your children why we do.
I love you guys, and so does Jesus. I hope you continue to long for this water, and continue to drink from it as well. Until next time, blessings to you and your family,