Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Reason for the Season

The Harvest Home orphans sign a Christmas carol.

The lights were turned down low as the familiar sound of a Christmas carol played softly in the background.  I was sitting with a friend inside a simple church, experiencing a local Christmas play about a young orphaned girl who was finally reunited with her mother on Christmas.  After citing how tacky the costumes were and how many seconds it took for the projected snow video to loop on the screen, I began to realize the incredible meaning packed into the simple play unfolding before me.  This was a drama being performed by, and for, the deaf community; all done in ASL.  Since I’m learning ASL, I was excited to watch the performance and be able to enter into the deaf community’s world as they celebrated the birth of our Messiah.  It was a simple church play, produced in a backwoods Baptist church, but its meaning was profound.

Follow the star of Bethlehem; while leading you to Jesus, it will bring you straight into the arms of your family.

I think so often we become so bogged down in the holiday tinsel that we miss the main point of Christmas, the true reason for the season.  It’s you, it’s me, it’s family, friends, loved ones.  Yes, when asked that question, Jesus has always been the stereotypical answer but without us, He never would have come to this earth.  If it weren’t for a sin-sick world full of helpless, hopeless, quarreling human beings, there never would have been a virgin mother, a protective father, adoring angels, awe struck shepherds, and worshipful wise men.  The star of Bethlehem announced the greatest event in this world’s history: the coming of a Savior for you and for me.  Christ declared that He came to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. (Isaiah 61:1)

Christmas is about community, it’s about family.  The very word elicits warm memories of a fireplace, a cup of hot chocolate, a tree dancing with light, and a loving family gathered together reading Christmas favorites.  Yes the festivities are nice, but without our family and friends, they’re meaningless.  Let us be thankful for our Savior’s gift, Himself, given to us on that quiet night long ago in Bethlehem so that we, together, may have a hope for the future and fulfillment in the present.

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