‘Tis the Reason for the Season07 December, 2018
‘Tis the season to be jolly, to bring gifts and be merry! It looks like the world is celebrating and rejoicing with you over the birth of Jesus. Secularised in every way, commercialised to make a profit and I can just hear the ‘ka-ching’ of whirring cash registers.
With each passing year, this sacred holiday has become more and more secularised, with even the infamous Christmas Disney-themed light-up along Singapore’s shopping belt. What have Mickey Mouse and Cinderella to do with Christmas?
Luke 2:10-12 says, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And in Matthew 2:10-11, it says, “When they (the wise men) saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
We do know that this was the unlikely time of the year when Jesus was born, yet through the ages, the birth of Jesus has been re-enacted, and the Nativity scene displayed. So, Christmas has been a time to celebrate and honour Jesus by rejoicing in our salvation. But there’s a disconnect and the answer is quite simple. It’s incredible how much children know about Santa and presents, yet when asked why we celebrate it, they do not know it was Jesus’ birthday. Many don’t even know Who Jesus is.
Many children know Christmas only as a time for Santa, Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer and other fairy tales. As a result, some children have no idea what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. Celebrating Christmas can be so much fun and it’s great that people enjoy it. However, it’s almost like going to the birthday of someone you don’t know or weren’t invited to. You sing the songs, have the birthday cake and the laughs, but you’re not there to celebrate that person’s birthday. And honestly, not many people I know would do that because it’s plain rude. And so, the same goes for Jesus. It’s Jesus’ birthday and if you do not know Him or know Who He is, then why do you get to celebrate too?
A little boy came home from Sunday School and was so excited to learn about the Wise Men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus. He was so excited that he had to tell his mother. He said, “I learned today in Sunday School all about the first Christmas. There wasn’t a Santa Claus way back then, so these three fellas on camels had to deliver all the toys. And Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer with his nose so bright wasn’t there, so they had to have this big spotlight in the sky to find their way around.”
Santa lives at the North Pole. Jesus lives everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh. Jesus rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes once a year. Jesus is an ever-present help.
Santa comes down your chimney. Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies. Jesus supplies all your needs.
You have to wait in line to see Santa. Jesus is as close as the mention of His Name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap. Jesus holds you in His hands.
Santa has a belly like a bowl of jelly. Jesus has a heart of love.
Santa’s little helpers make new toys. Jesus makes new lives.
Santa puts gifts under your tree. Jesus became our gift and died on a tree.
Have you become indifferent regarding the true reason for the season? Christmas is a time to define your beliefs as a Christian. And if you truly do believe that Jesus Christ was sent to this earth, born of a virgin, saved us from our sins, you should let some people know about it. You’ll not only make a difference in the lives of many others, but you’ll also galvanise your own.
As Christmas rapidly approaches, I hope you’ll take time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, Who came to this earth to willingly die for our sins on the cross. Yes! He loved us that much. And, while you’re amid the presents, baking, cookie decorating, roasting, and throwing Christmas parties, remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!
Pastor Daphne Yang