“No one comes to the Father except through me.” – Jesus, John 14:6
As we cruise on into the other side of life past Christmas – when the sentimental swirl of the season morphs into pedantic pursuits like cleaning up, packing up and paying up – what is the most important thing we keep with us as the holiday lights dim?
Why, our Savior Jesus Christ, of course.
“Reason for this season”? C’mon, He’s the reason for every season.
Yet upon heading into the New Year most people find Jesus easier to put away than take along. He’s a holiday decoration. After Christmas, they’d rather see Jesus packed up than the Gospel picked up. Folks move on from the holidays thinking Christmas was great and Jesus is OK but in their heart-of-hearts figure, “Hey, enough is enough; I have a real life to live. The season is over; Christmas was what I hoped it would be … I’m good ‘til next year.”
There is a flicker of faith even in harder hearts – not all, certainly, but a lot of them – that senses the truth of the Christmas story beating well beyond the considerable cacophony of Yuletide’s clanging commercial largesse. These faithful sparks are earnest in intent but unfueled in practice. Starving, the heart’s flame of the Christmas season retreats. The “want” of truth and “need” of peace smolder and eventually cool into the uninspiring, unsatisfying ashes of spiritually “getting by.” We can always meet Jesus again next Christmas. He’ll be there, right? Until then … where’s the necessity?
Our information is wrong and our priorities are catastrophically inverted when we seasonalize, marginalize or otherwise compartmentalize Christ. Correct information is written in the Gospels, well-represented above in John 14:6: Jesus is the only way to God, not just “a” way. Catastrophe is misunderstanding what’s at stake when we prioritize ourselves or anything else ahead of God.
Satan’s entire playbook hinges on man’s priorities of “Me.” Hell is fed continually by man’s fears, guilt, shame and eventual death. Satan’s temptations may make us feel good for a while, but in him our sins and fears endure forever.
Joy, you see, is a function of forever with God. What God promises, what Jesus delivers, and what the Holy Spirit assures is that our eternity will reside in the presence of our Creator God Almighty, who loved us enough to make us and then set us free to find Him anew.
It is that part about finding God “anew” that makes Jesus indispensable all the time. We cheat ourselves horribly if we see our Savior only at Christmas.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) notes that God’s gift to us is our best gift to God – Love.