Those of you who work retail understand that particular career field has a way of destroying the wonder of Christmas. I’m twenty years removed from more than a decade of retail management, and I confess I think I am only now beginning to fully recover. To all of you in retail I want you to know I truly understand why this time of year may no longer be overly special for you.
You are more likely pulling your hair out (or fantasizing about pulling out the hair of certain customers!) than you are experiencing the magnificent peace of the season. If you could hit pause for just a couple minutes, I’d like the opportunity to remind you of what an amazing time of year this is, and to hopefully help reorient your focus on the true reason for the season.
My wife (who works retail) has a pin on her jacket with the by now familiar slogan of “Jesus is the reason for the season.” It helps remind her of what’s important, but once-novel phrases like these can lose their luster with time. We’ve read and seen them so many times we can gloss over the meaning behind the words. I have had an amazing season of reflecting on the wonder of Jesus’ birth. The Creator squished His omnipresent self into the tiniest of human beings. Did you ever stop and question why He would do such a thing? It all seems rather demeaning; but the reason, indeed the very reason for the season, should take your breath away.
Jesus chose to come in the form of a baby so He could experience everything His creation experienced. It’s one thing to observe something that happens to someone else, but something entirely different to go through it yourself. Jesus is not just an empathetic God; He’s been in your very shoes. We choose to walk in His footsteps because He first chose to walk in ours. The God who created everything in perfection chose to walk within the muck and depravity of a fallen world. He didn’t want to be just an observant God; He chose instead to be an experiential God. He chose to feel what we feel, to hurt as we do, to experience heartache and disappointment exactly as we do.
Why would He do this? The answer is encapsulated in who He is. Put as simply as possible, God is love. He doesn’t just express love, He literally is love. It is that love that compelled Him to experience life as we do. He didn’t want to be a far off God; He chose to be an intimate God. He can comfort us in any circumstance because He’s been there Himself. He knows how we feel. He understands.
To think the most powerful being in all the Universe chose to do this for you and for me is beyond humbling. It will drive you to your knees just thinking about it. We are saved because of His resurrection, but it all began with His birth. We can know Jesus as our personal Savior because He personally became one of us.
What kind of God is this? Who can comprehend such love? Without a doubt, He is the reason for the season. He is the reason for everything and He is due our worship. In the busyness of the season, don’t miss the wonder of His love and His willingness to experience life as we do. Don’t miss the message. Don’t miss His love. Don’t miss the reason for the season.