It's Christmas time once again. Malls are packed. Package deliveries are filling many a front porch. Christmas songs fill the radio. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
At this time, we also deal with the ever-controversial debate is Christmas too commercial? Is it really about receiving gifts? At the same time debate rages on, tradition and not truth abounds about the Christmas story, that is unScriptural songs, incorrect portraits of the Nativity scene etc.
What we also ponder at this time of year is the reason for the season. In an ever-increasing secular culture, we as believers must always remember the reason for the season. It's not about frosty men and red nose deer. It isn't about being cold outside and celebrating all things winter.
Some would respond, sure we know Jesus is the reason for the season. That is true, but it goes a little deeper than that. Why is Jesus the reason for the season?
Listening to some religious traditional minded leaders we may get some misunderstandings about why He came. About why He was sent.
The angry gospel, the hyper holiness message, tend to convey the idea that God sent Jesus to finally straighten out mankind. To sort out the bad from the good. They've used this passage of the Christmas message to say, see God only approves of certain men and God is angrily disapproving of the rest.
This idea is that Jesus came for the good guys. He came to rescue the righteous and condemn the bad guys. He came to finally rescue those righteous ones who were already following God.
The truth God revealed in Christ is no one has got their act together. There are no good guys in comparison of the absolute perfect standard of God's righteousness. We all need a Savior.
Another tradition is this subtle concept that God sent His Son to find faithful servants. That God was really looking for a people who would be His dutiful servants. In other words, God was seeking servants and subjects to serve in a kingdom.