The Reason For The Season

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” is not just a line from a popular Christmas carol.  Christmas is a time to rejoice in the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, cherish time with family and friends, and renew our hopes for the year to come.

The hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations often prevents us from focusing on the real joys of Christmas.  As Christmas becomes more secularized and more commercial as the years go on, it is good to take a step back and reflect on the true meaning of the season.

During this season of peace and hope, it is our wish that you are surrounded by the many blessings that are given to us through Christ alone.  At this time of the celebration of His birth, may you enjoy the love and light of this season, and the peace and goodwill that was declared to all on that night so long ago.

We celebrate our Savior’s birth on December 25th, however, no one is certain if this is the true birthdate of Jesus.  The reasons for celebrating Jesus’ birth on this day are two-fold:  Astronomers report that the earth is at its darkest, with the longest nights of the year, around the winter solstice the week before Christmas. The Sun is closest to the Earth at this time than any other during the year, thus a perfect time to celebrate He who is “the light of the world” who brings us out of darkness.

The Gospel of Luke reminds us of the circumstances surrounding the birth of our Savior; He whose coming was foretold to his mother Mary by an angel of the Lord:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.

And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

God’s divine plan for all of us was foretold to Mary, and although she was fearful, she was obedient to God’s will.  We may be fearful and uncertain at times, but the fulfillment of God’s promise to us brings us peace and hope in the constant love and presence of our Savior.

It is a time of year to truly reflect on what the miracle of Christ’s birth means to us all – a light in times of darkness, peace in times of fear, and the promise of everlasting life in the child who was born on this day.

From the Gospel of Luke:

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

The signs and symbols of Christ’s love and sacrifice are all around us this time of year.  The yearly celebration of His birth allows us to come together in our faith and share in the promise of His constant presence.

 As you enjoy your Christmas decorations this year, take some time to reflect on their meaning and the many blessings bestowed upon us by our Lord.  Crosswalk.com reminds us that the symbols of our traditional Christmas celebrations are all reminders of the peace and goodwill toward men that is only possible through Christ’s love for us.

  • Evergreen Treeswere the symbol of eternal life. (Isaiah 60:13).

  • Candlesare a picture that Christ is the Light of the world (John 8).

  • Hollyspeaks of the thorns in His crown (Matthew 27:29).

  • Redis a color of Christmas that speaks of Christ’s blood and death.

  • Giftsare a reminder of the gifts of the Magi to baby Jesus. Each of them speak to a component of His incarnation: Majesty in life, Bitterest Agony in Death and He as Gods Perfect gift to us (Matthew 2).

  • The Yule Logwas a symbol by which all the men in the family would carry a log large enough to burn for 12 days into the house. They were identifying with Christ and His Cross. The fire was started with a fragment from the previous year’s [this refers to the eternal existence of Christ before His birth] log. It speaks of warmth, unity, joy and the security of endless life.

  • Mistletoewas an ancient symbol from the Roman times. It was under Mistletoe that old enmities and broken friendship were restored.  So Christ was the One who took away the enmity and gave us Peace with God (Romans 5:1Romans 8:1).

  • Bellsare associated with ringing out news. Christ is the good news, the best news of all.

  • Christmas Eveis a time when we remember that Christ came in the darkest night of Earth’s need to be the Light of the World.

  • Shepherdswho were watching lambs for use as sacrifices in the Temple, were the first to hear the great news that the Lamb to end all sacrifices had appeared.

These traditional Christmas symbols are not just mere decorations.  Their meanings serve as a reminder that Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s sacrifice for us all – something to remember and cherish the entire year.

What are your favorite things to do during this joyous time of year?  Leave us your comments below, and from all of us here at Mommy Underground, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a New Year full of the promises of our Savior.

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