File: Swart Reason
Photo: Manger tree.jpg
The Real Reason for the Season
Jeff Swart, Senior Adult Pastor • Antioch, Conway
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and yet, if we are not careful, the true meaning of Christmas can be lost. To illustrate what I mean, I would like to share a contemporary paraphrase of Luke 2:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from the U.S. Treasury, that all of America should go shopping. (This decree was first made when leading economic indicators dipped to their lowest point.) And all went out to shop, each to his own mall.
A Christian also went up from his suburban home to the city with its many malls because he wanted to prove he was from the household of prosperity. With him was his wife, who was great with economic worry. And so it was that, while they were there, they found many expensive presents, pudgy-faced dolls, trucks that turn into robots and a various assortment of video games. The woman wrote checks for those they could afford and charged the rest on many different kinds of plastic cards. She wrapped the presents in bright paper and laid them in the garage; for there was no room for them in her closet.
There were in the same country children keeping watch over their stockings by night. And, lo, Santa Claus came upon them; and they were sore afraid. Santa said to them, “Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people who can afford this holiday. For unto you will be given this day, in your suburban home, great feasts of turkey, dressing, cake — and many presents. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the presents, wrapped in bright paper, lying beneath an artificial tree adorned with tinsel, colored balls and lights.”
Suddenly there was with Santa Claus a multitude of relatives and friends, praising one another and saying, “Glory to you for getting me this gift; it’s just what I wanted.”
And it came to pass, as the friends and relatives were gone away into their own homes, the parents said to one another, “I sure am glad that’s over.” When they had said this, they remembered the statement that had been told to them by the storekeepers: “Christmas comes only once a year.” They that heard it wondered at those things that were sold to them by the storekeepers, but the children treasured all these things in their hearts, hoarding their toys from each other. Then the parents, after a drink, went to bed, glorifying and praising each other for all the bargains they had found in the stores.
This Christmas season, remember the simple and yet profound words of the angels, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). Jesus is the real reason for the season!