Friday, December 24, 2004

What The Fuss Is All About

It would be very easy to say that the fuss over Christmas is Jesus. It would be true and accurate to say so as well. But it would also be insufficient.

Once upon a time the name of Jesus carried a lot more meaning than it does today. Cheapened by disrespect, irreverence, and mere ignorance, saying Jesus is he reason for the season doesn't communicate all that it once did to the masses.

When Christians, serious ones, speak the name of Jesus, they are referring not only to the baby born in Bethlehem who, according to the Faith, would one day die on a Cross and rise from the grave. Those are but the bare bone historical events. No, when Christians refer to Jesus we also have in mind all that Jesus meant and continues to mean both for daily life and for life after death. Christmas is not just about the birth of a person but the birth of hope and forgiveness, and a life really worth living.

In short, for Christians the name of Jesus is shorthand, carrying within it meanings that are far more complex and significant than the name itself commonly carries today. As the meaning of Jesus has faded in society so too has the importance of Christmas.

This Christmas may Christians move beyond simplistic slogans about the significance of the season, and boldly explain what the season means; not only the birth of a baby, or even a very special baby, but the birth of the only real reason to live in the world; hope for the present and a future we could otherwise only dream of.

Merry Christmas, and may you experience the day as God Himself intends it.

Oddball Pastor

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