It is commonly heralded during Christmas seasons the notion: Jesus is “the reason for the season.” There’s no problem with that. To be exact, that’s the solution to the problem. The problem of the world is the three-letter word “sin.” In Paul’s writing to the Romans, he described sin as missing the mark, i.e., to “fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). And the season should be a celebration in reference to that which had happened to in course of human history, in the Incarnation – when God became man, as the person of Jesus. That is, in the fullness of time God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, “not to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17)
But the Christmas season is gonna be gone for the subsequent months, and will only have a comeback after some long months. Celebrations will be replaced by boring-sluggish routines, in hope that summer might come a little bit faster – to escape the season of waiting, waiting for our personal oases. That’s why Jesus warned us that we have the tendency to be overwhelmed to the cares of the world (c.f. Matt. 6:25-45; Luke 12:22-31). The reality is: seasons come and seasons go. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecc. 3:3-4).
And this Christmas season of celebration is coming to its twilight. And another season to embrace or to face (if you’re that quite pessimistic). But there’s no reason to be dismayed!
The notion that Jesus is “the reason for the season” is true, but to be completely biblical, it is also quite short-sighted. Why? Because Jesus is not only the reason for the Christmas season, but he is the ultimate reason for everything: “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
The author of the book Hebrews was very explicit in noting that he is the sustainer of all things: “he upholds the universe by the word if his power” (Heb. 1:3). And Paul in his letter to the Colossians, appealed to them that “in him [Jesus Christ,] all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).
He is the reason behind every beautiful thing. He is the reason why life is even possible in this universe in the first place. He is the reason behind the fine-tuning of the universal constants (e.g. the force of gravity, the speed of light, the masses of the subatomic particle, etc.), to provide us a universe hospitable to life. That’s why C. S. Lewis said, in his book Miracles:
“Men became scientific because they expected laws in nature and they expected law in nature because they believe in a lawgiver”(110).
Isaac Newton also:
“This most beautiful system of sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being” (see Pearcey & Thaxton, The Sould of Science, 91).
He is the reason to move forward even in the ugly things. Suffering is a reality. A lot of people turned their back against God in the middle of suffering because they argue that God isn’t giving them the explanation. I would not contend for their evaluation, but in times of those ugly things, I would only assert: an explanation cannot be an answer. If something ugly will happen to the people I love, and I know the explanation, that explanation will not give me comfort, not even an abstract hug. Pain will still be real. What I need would be the presence of the fellow believers and primarily the presence of God. That’s called the ministry of presence. Those friends don’t have to say anything, they’ll just have to be there – present. And yes the presence of God will be enough.
James Crenshaw in his magisterial book Defending God said:
“The biblical God…understands human suffering firsthand, through his own experience. God himself suffers” (16).
And as the great preacher Charles Spurgeon extolled:
“God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.”
So to conclude. Jesus is the reason for every season. Reason to be glad!
Happy New Year!