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Saginaw, Michigan, United States
A sinner who may come before God because of Christ

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sin Is The Reason for the Season

Sin Is The Reason for the Season

My work place has an annual Christmas (or, as they now say, Holiday) contest. This year it was decorating trees, and each department decorated by a theme. The winning department gets a pizza lunch.

Some of the trees were pretty ornate, some were very clever (the cleverest was the contracts department which had an undecorated tree and in the middle was the toner from a copy machine – the theme – “a cartridge in a bare tree”).

Oops I digress. It is pretty easy to get all wound up in the Season. Even atheists like the season and who doesn’t like to get gifts. It is also a big time of year for boosting the economy. When I lived in a rural community, the local Chamber of Commerce reported that most retail businesses did almost 70-80% of their annual sales during the Christmas Season.

Anyway, one department put up a board with a Tree outline on it and some markers. There was a sign inviting anyone to draw on a decoration or write in a comment. Scattered about were sketches of ornaments and “Merry Christmas”. There was one thought-provoking statement: someone wrote “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” and then, in a different hand writing, had crossed out Jesus and written next to it “Pagans”. Hence, “Pagans are the Reason for the Season”.

I thought about that for a moment or two.

What IS the reason for the Season?

Actually, sin is the reason for the Season. It is why Christ was born, to redeem His creation. If there had not been any sin, there would not have been any need for Him to come, be crucified, and resurrected.

It is man’s sin that makes His birth and His death and His resurrection logical. Otherwise, Christianity is just another good self-improvement program.

True, the attributes we are to take on are laudable: truthfulness, honesty, loving, caring, joyfulness, peacefulness, selfless, and forgiving. There are many religions and faiths and philosophies that recognize these as worthwhile and even the ultimate behaviors we, as humans, should strive to attain. Many are built around these traits, many profess that to exhibit them will get you rewards (a better life now, a better life next time, making God like you more, etc.).

The Bible, however, teaches that we should desire to put these traits on not for what we will gain from them, but because of something else we have already gotten – Christ’s payment for our sins. He took on our sins, even becoming sin for us, so that we would not have to face His perfect Justice, which requires punishment for our sins.

And this gift is so pure and perfect that it requires nothing more than our accepting the reality that we are despicable creatures because of our sins and that He took them on for us and is our Savior.

Thus, sin IS the reason for the season. This is not a rejoicing that we sin, it a heart filled joy because Christ did what we could not do, overcome our own short comings, our own bad decisions, our own pains that we have cause, our own selfish desires.

Even though December 25 is a questionable date for Christ’s birth; even though this “Holiday” came from a pagan event; even though Scripture does not ordain us to honor His birth, I will enjoy this Christmas because my sins are forgiven. I am the recipient of of the most wonderful gift I have received - salvation through Christ.

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