The Reason for the Reason
By Dr. Robert R. Owens –December 16, 2019
As loyal media mavens of 21st Century America pop culture our perceptions of the Christmas season have been shaped as much by George running down the main street of Bedford Falls and Scrooge buying the biggest goose in town as by anything in the Bible. We spend our time driving the kids around to see the lights, decorating the tree, and shopping with precious little time left to even mention Jesus or the significance of His birth.
Seeking shelter from a crass and crude culture degenerating from indifference to outright hostility to God many of us retreat into a warm and fuzzy Currier and Ives Norman Rockwell bubble of accepted Christmas traditions based more in a Dr. Seuss Disney media than reality. To ward off the Black Friday commercialism that consumes us, we duck behind the “Jesus is the reason for the season,” mantra. As if this alone was enough to lead us not into temptation.
As we hide behind our little Jesus catch phrase with pious feelings, even this fleeting mention of the Name of Jesus inspires, and we should ask ourselves how often this spiritual sleight of hand gives us an opportunity to share the reality of Christmas. Or has it merely become the Christian version of the oft repeated insincerely asked “Hi, how are you?” catch phrase of ‘Xmas’? Is it time we admit this verbal deflection is more about making us feel like we’re doing something to combat the conquest of Christmas by the grasping spirit of conspicuous consumption by making a dent in the cacophony of crass commercialism?
The enemy can’t defeat God. He cannot overcome God’s plan and he can’t snatch us out of God’s Hand. Just as in the garden when he confused Eve and led her down the primrose path to perdition, the enemy’s power is based on deception. Afflicted with spiritual ADD most of us careen from one shiny object to the next while falling for fads, trooping after trends and hypnotized by the next new thing. The accuser of mankind has never missed a church service, and his favorite disguise after an angel of light is the puffed-up rituals, ceremonies, and displays of the sideshow religion he pedals in place of the simple gospel.
Peddled by hucksters who prey upon the potatoes who grow so comfortably on our couches, the glitzy glamour and heartwarming familiarity of cultural Christmas might have more spirituality than a Grinch stealing presents but not nearly as much as Linus sharing biblical truth.
So, the next time we use our “Jesus is the reason for the season” shield to deflect the hooey and hype seeking to drown the most miraculous birth in History let’s prayerfully project the reason more than the season. Just in case we’ve missed it here’s the reason for the reason:
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”