‘Tis the Season

by Pastor Patrick Cho

With barely enough time to recover from all the turkey and stuffing from Thanksgiving, Christmas time is upon us. This is honestly one of my favorite holidays. I still remember my elementary school days driving around with my parents to look at Christmas lights. It has been and, I’m sure, will continue to be my favorite time of the year. I love the spirit of Christmas with the jolly music and gift giving. People seem to be nicer during this time of year. I was driving this past week and let someone cut in front of me and said, “I’ll let you in because it’s Christmas.”

Let’s remember, though, that Christmas is more than warm feelings and worldly kindness. It is not just about wishing everyone well and hoping for better times. Christmas is about Jesus from beginning to end. It is about the precious gift that God gave us in His Son sending Him to die on the cross for the sins of the world. So when you are hanging decorations on your tree or stringing lights on your house, you would be wise to ask yourself, “Self, why am I doing this? Is this really about Jesus?” Yes, ask yourself that. Is it about Jesus? Or is it just about getting into the “holiday spirit”?

‘Tis the season for joy! But ours in not a secular joy. As Christians, we have come to understand that true joy is only found in Christ. Without the love and grace of God demonstrated in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, there is no true basis for joy. Our sin destroys that joy and nullifies it. Without God, all we have is despair. But with God, we have joy insurmountable! This joy is so abounding that Paul can instruct believers to rejoice always (Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16)!

There are so many facets to the significance of Jesus’ birth. Besides the fulfilled prophecies, the genealogic line, and the miraculous virgin birth, Jesus’ birth put into motion God’s plan for redemption. Although it had been spoken of for generations, with Jesus’ arrival things were finally going to reach a culmination. So the angels spoke to the shepherds in the field, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” A Savior had been provided for the world. But this was no mere earthly prophet, priest, or king. It was God Himself in flesh—the Prophet, Priest, and King par excellence.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the Christmas spirit and getting caught up in the joy of festivities, presents, and such. But we would be amiss to not consider at all times the basis for the holiday and the true reason that any of us have any ultimate occasion to celebrate. Once again the Lighthouse proverbial phrase rings true, “Christmas is not about you.”

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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