A Cliché Because It’s True
It is beyond a cliché for Christians to remind themselves, and anyone else who will listen that we should remember “the reason for the season”. While this is repeated ad nauseum it, like many such sayings, has become a cliché because it is true. Even Christians too often forget the true meaning of what we celebrate of December 25th. This is not surprising, given all the hustle and bustle of the season. Between decorating your house, going to various work and personal holiday parties and generally overeating the whole time, it is all too easy to forget. We must endeavor to remember, even if it takes special effort.
What We are Remembering
Sadly, even while “remembering the reason for the season”, it is all too common for many to forget the true nature of what we are celebrating. It is not simply the birth of a baby in a manger, or the arrival of 3 kings to honor Him. It is not about Mary and Joseph not being able to find room in the inn. It is not a warmly familiar tale that we wear every year like an old comfortable blanket.
What we celebrate on December 25th. is not best termed “Christmas”, but rather, the Feast of the Incarnation. It is not simply a cute birth story about a faithful, humble family. It is about something truly new and radical that God is doing in this world. Let me emphasize, in this world. It is the momentous, world changing, history altering act of God becoming man through His Son Jesus.
What we rightly celebrate is the fact that God loves us so much that He would take upon Himself human form and live among us and be one of us. Further, we celebrate the reality that because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we have placed within us the faith that puts us right with God, the faith that saves.
Even More to Remember
There is much more that we need to remember than simply that God arrives as one of us. We need to remember the point of all this. It is not simply to save us (although that would be enough). The further thing we need to grasp is that now with our salvation assured, and heaven in our back pocket, we can go forth every single day and kick Satan’s ass.
We do this one act of love at a time, one act of forgiveness at a time, and one act of sacrifice and service at a time. The devil has gone by many names through the ages; Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, to name a few. In more recent years he has gone by hate, death, war, and racism, to name a few.
Whatever name the great deceiver goes by, we see him, and we know how to respond-with the love and faith that Jesus has placed in our hearts. This is our response to these gifts of grace upon grace that the God who became man has given us. We do so to bring to others the understanding that God loves all and wants a relationship with all. Also, we do so to make this world a better place because we know that is what God wishes for His children.
We do not need to wonder what this response should look like, as we have Jesus as supreme exemplar and template for our lives. Jesus showed us what it means to live a fully human life, so we do not need to ask, “What would Jesus do?”. We need only look at what Jesus actually did do.
An Advent Prayer
With all of this being remembered, my prayer this Advent season, and every day thereafter, is that we should go boldly forth waging ceaseless peace in the name of the Prince of Peace.
Praise Be to God