A lot happens during the month of December. There are a lot of events, a lot of activities, and a lot of preparations. Among the carols, the cards, and the craziness there are also the declarations that: “Jesus is the reason for the season.” This is most certainly true. But what does it mean? How, exactly, should we adjust our attitudes or actions in response to this reminder? We often toss around phrases like this one that sound very nice, but leave a lot unsaid.
There’s actually a lot to say about this simple phrase. Beneath the traditions, beneath the activity, there is a specific person that we’re getting ready to celebrate. We’re getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. His birth is more than just an historical event that we are commemorating. It’s an event that has real meaning for you today.
As our Advent theme puts it: The Greater One Is Coming. This Jesus who was born is greater than angels; He’s greater than Moses; and He’s greater than the Old Testament priests. It’s worthwhile to simply ponder the significance of that fact. But, as I mentioned above, this is something that has real meaning for you today.
Angels are glorious. But He didn’t become an angel. He became one of us. He humbled Himself so that He could exalt you, with Him, to the right hand of the Father. Moses is the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. But Jesus is the greater prophet who leads you through the waters of baptism— destroying your spiritual enemies in the process— sustains you with bread from heaven and His living water while you travel through this wilderness, and gathers you safely into the Promised Land. The Old Testament High Priests literally served in the presence of God. But, because He offered the final sacrifice for the sins of all humanity, Jesus is God with us.
The traditions and activities are all good and salutary— as long as they don’t come between us and the real meaning for the season: who Jesus is and what He came to do. Remember: Jesus is the reason for the season.