What’s Your Reason for the Season?

“The Reason for the Season, Jesus Christ.” From Facebook to Christmas cards we see these words written; however who Christ is and exactly what that reason is differs from person to person. For some it’s just a time of the year where gifts are exchanged, others believe it to be a religious time of the year, yet for some it is a painful time of the year for some personal reason.

For that reason I thought I would share with my readers who Christ is to me and the reason I made a choice to place Him at the core of my life many years ago.

Jesus was Simple

We have all seen the manger scene that represents the place Jesus was born. I think this is pretty cool for all of us who are average everyday people. He was not born to some earthly family of Royalty; Joseph and Mary weren’t rolling in bling. They didn’t even have a place to sleep for the night so they had to ask total strangers to let them stay in cave-like stable to birth their baby. For 30 years Jesus followed his earthly dad’s career path as a carpenter.

Having “stuff” just wasn’t that important to Jesus or his family. They lived a simple life that enabled them to enjoy life for what is was. The simple life allowed him to spend more time on what was important and that was people. His family, friends and even the needs of strangers were His driving focus. Without the complexity of who had the MOST stuff, Jesus was able to give of His ALL to others.

Jesus Keeps it Real

When Jesus was 30 he broke out on his career path. His business would only last three years; however the impact of the work he did still impacts people’s lives today. What made him such a success? Jesus understood what his customer’s needs were.

Jesus hung out with people who were interested and looking for change. There wasn’t any need for him to spend time with those who had it all figured out (or at least thought they had it figured out). The bestselling book of all times is the Bible. The main characters that Jesus chose to write about were not religious leaders or those who consider themselves to have cracked the code of being righteous. He recorded the stories about everyday people. Prostitutes, drunks, shady business people, murderers and even wrote about those who started out hating him, but later became his biggest fans.

What is interesting about Jesus is his biggest critics came from religious people who shook their heads in disgust over who and where he spent his time. He went to parties, bars, and places where many church people would not go. He helped people & was working on days that people said he should be in church and went out to eat with those who were known to steal and take advantage of people. Jesus wanted to be around people who were real. He didn’t take time to bother with those who put on fronts and tried to paint images of perfection. He loved those who were open, honest and didn’t care what others thought.

Jesus kept it real. He didn’t care what people thought of Him and he didn’t let their expectations drive his decisions. He knew that people in need was the focus of his mission in life; so there is where he spent his time and energy.

Jesus Changes Things

No matter what you believe…agree or disagree….one thing I stand on is that Jesus is about changing lives. I remember back when I made a conscious decision to place Him at the center of my life, I was one messed up young man. I had experienced divorce (X2), lost a child to SIDS, finances were all jacked up and I was a very angry person. The outward message I painted for others to see was one of strength and confidence; however inside I was empty. One day, all alone in my apartment, I simply gave it up and had a private conversation in prayer. I simply asked Jesus, if he was there, if he cared, to change my life. He did. Now I had to do a few things too, like start attending church and learning a new way of life, but that was the easy part. It was also fun (a little different at first I must admit because that lifestyle was so opposite) as I got used to changes that filled those once empty spots in my life.

Jesus Follows Through

Following the story of Jesus long before his birth, during his life and on into today’s time we find that he keeps his promises. He has something that we don’t find a lot of today…follow through. His promises are not based upon what others do! That means that when He steps up to the plate, he swings the bat even if the rest of the team lies down. In fact He knows on the front end that those who decide to follow Him will mess up, but He still keeps his promises to keep them on His team!

Jesus is the best friend one could ever have because His commitment is unconditional. He doesn’t delete you from Facebook because you don’t agree with something he said. He doesn’t criticize or fire you because you did something you shouldn’t. He is always there with as much love as the first day He shook hands in agreement to be your friend.

This is really cool because one of Jesus’ biggest promises for those who sign up to follow Him is that He’s going to come back one day and take all of his friends to be with him. By friends we aren’t talking about those who just friended him on Facebook to creep over every now and then to see His pictures, but it is for those who really know Him.

Those who know him don’t have a certain look or social status; they are not found in any particular denomination or live in some special part of town. I guess the best way to know who actually is a true friend is to use Jesus’ own words:

Jesus said he was going to prepare a really cool place for his friends to stay & that he would come back to take them where he is (John 14:3). He didn’t leave much room for doubt when stated he was looking for true friends when he said that He is THE way the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father (speaking of coming back to get his friends one day) except through him (John 14:6). Jesus explained further that his friends would follow his ways and do the things he ask of them (John 14:23). Jesus also said that He wants us to fill our empty spots in life, not add a bunch of rules and regulations (John 10:10).

So what is the reason for the season? Who is this Jesus to you? Only you can answer that question. I’ve shared who He is to me and why I claim him to be my friend. My hope is that along the way, though I make mistakes & don’t always do my best (like the people Jesus wrote about in the Bible), that I can offer the same hope to my friends who are searching for change and want something in life that has substance.

Merry Christmas!

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