The Reason for the Season
Have you noticed that the Christmas holiday fills our stores earlier each year? We can’t even celebrate Halloween without experiencing confusion as to what time of year it is. Now we celebrate our Thanksgiving celebration around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, in the chaos and frenzy we may forget to truly reflect upon our blessings and embrace the joy of Christmas. This is why it’s important to remind ourselves of the reason for the season.
Christmas is celebrated to reflect upon the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God. The name “Christmas” comes for the Mass of Christ, which is a service where Christians remember that Jesus lived, died and rose again so that we were saved from our sins. Jesus Christ was born circa 6 B.C. in Bethlehem. His life and ministry are recorded in the Bible’s New Testament. Jesus is the incarnation of God whom Christians put their faith in. People follow after Him to create a purposeful and meaningful life.
Why do we exchange gifts? We have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men. After Jesus was born, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem asking, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Upon finding Jesus, they bowed down and worshiped Him opening their treasures and presenting him with gifts of gold, incense and myrrh. Now, we continue this custom by giving presents to those important to us on Christmas day.
Given we know now the reason we celebrate the season, what follows is the story of Jesus’ birth. The text below is verses from the Bible, which is the resource for learning more about Him and His teachings. Enjoy! And, have a merry, merry Christmas!
Luke 2:1-20 New International Version (NIV)
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.