The Reason for the Season
Christmas B

Frank Enderle
Reproduced with Permission

“Jesus is the reason for the season.” That phrase has been repeated so often that it begins to sound trite. Yet in all of the hubbub and rushing around, we really can forget the reason for all of the celebrations that Christians hold during this time of year. While we may or may not have doubts about the actual date and we can argue about whether we put ornaments on the Christmas Tree or the Holiday Tree but what we should never doubt is that two thousand years ago the world actually did go through its first Christmas. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah whose coming the prophets had announced for thousands of years, actually was born. He did not suddenly appear in great majesty and power as was expected. There was no flashing Christmas lights or many colored gift boxes under a beautifully decorated tree. Jesus came into this world clothed in poverty. He was born in a stable and a manger was His first crib. When Jesus was born no one - from the people in the streets seeking shelter for the night to the local authorities comfortably ensconced in their homes - absolutely no one - with the exception of Mary and Joseph - knew that the Son of God had come into the world. There was no fanfare. There were no parties. No one noticed. Everyone was engrossed in living their own lives. The birth of one more child went unnoticed. No one seemed to care.

Before Christmas was celebrated as a holiday it was celebrated as a holyday

During these last few weeks just about all of us have spent a lot of time in the stores. We’ve seen the beautifully decorated store windows. We’ve listened to the constant sounds of Christmas carols on the radio and we’ve probably bought a lot of gifts for Christmas. All of these preparations have brought us to today, the 25th of December, the date on which all Christians everywhere say with joy, “Merry Christmas!” Sometimes during the weeks that lead us to Christmas it seems that everywhere we turn there are beautiful things in all of the stores that tempt us to spend more than our budget allows, spending more than we should. This outpouring of gifts, lights and decorations is not at all like the stable in Bethlehem where Joseph and Mary prepared themselves as best as they could so that their Son, our Redeemer, could be born.

I don’t mean to put a damper on the season. The Christmas season is definitely a time of happiness, a season to be enjoyed and celebrated. But I do think that we should always keep in mind that before Christmas was celebrated as a holiday it was celebrated as a holyday. Let us not forget who should be at the center of this celebration. Christmas is, and always has been, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, the Prince of Peace.

During this season, as we celebrate with family and friends, we should try to make our home a place of peace. For peace and friendship to reign in our homes we don’t have to spend money as if there were no tomorrow, following the latest fads in gift-giving. Simple celebrations, surrounded by the family, doing things that show our love and faith in Jesus, can be much happier. I remember when I was a child how, as we decorated the house for Christmas, my mother and father would place a Nativity Scene underneath the Christmas tree. It reminded all of us that without Christ there is no Christmas, without Christ the Christmas tree is meaningless. At this time of year we Christians should show our “Joy to the World.” Just remembering that on a day like today, just about 2000 years ago, our Savior was born, should be enough reason to make us happy. For on that first Christmas day, Christ came into this world to bring us the most precious gift of this life: salvation.

As we celebrate together the birth of Christ, let us resolve that during the coming year we will try with all our might to make Jesus, the Messiah, the absolute center of our lives.