Christmas Eve Sermon – “The Reason for the Season”

John 1:1-14  “The Reason for the Season”

I bet you have heard the saying “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  It is true, from our perspective.  From our perspective Jesus can get lost in the midst of our traditions and gatherings, our gift giving and getting.  Remembering Jesus may be the best thing we can do for ourselves.  And that’s what we are doing today.  But all that’s from our perspective.  I began to wonder, what about God’s perspective on this thing we call Christmas?

From God’s perspective, WE are the reason for the season.  God looked upon our condition and saw darkness in need of light, death in need of life, deep loneliness and longing in need of love.  And so, we are the reason for Christmas.  Christmas is all about God coming to us.

The gospel of John starts his version of the Christmas story by saying, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God.”  The Word! In the original language, this word is Logos, which means to take chaos and order it into something meaningful.  We get the English word “logic” for this word.  It is translated as “word” because that’s how God creates and gives life, and takes chaos and gives it meaning. God creates by speaking it all into existence, according to first “word” in the Bible.  Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. John makes the connection by saying, “In the beginning” God’s word – God’s creating, life-giving power – was there and all things came into being through him.

Now that kind of fancy theological talk is all well and good, but it still leaves God out-there, in the realm of theory and ideas, not in the realm of relationship.  And so God gives Christmas to us.  John proclaims that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and full of truth.”  It is a reference to Jesus, who from our perspective in the reason for the season, but from God’s perspective is the one sent to us because we need to know that God is with us, and that God will see us through.  From God’s perspective, we are the reason for Christmas.

So, I want to push us a little more into the deep implications of this gift from God. By our logos or logic, we like to divide and compartmentalize.  This means we even like to keep God up-there, so to speak, and out of our daily business.  It’s just more comfortable and easy that way.  We come to church for a dose of spirituality.  Then we go out-there and live our lives.  We see a thread of connection, but by our logic, we can too easily keep these dimensions in separate compartments. By this human logic, we separate sacred and secular, spiritual and worldly, soul and body.

And here’s where this logic can get us in trouble.  When we do feel the need to be more spiritual then we often think that we must be less human, less worldly.  We might think, “If only I could get away from all that worldly stuff, then I might be able to see God.”  That way of thinking, that form of logic, is so engrained in our culture, but then Christmas comes.  God’s logos, God’s logic, breaks in. For Christmas people, spirituality is recognizing that God enters into our lives — into the mess of it all, into the joys of it all, into the pain of it all. God wants to share gifts of light, love, and life right there in the midst of it all. That’s where we need to look for these blessings – right in the very midst of our daily lives.

Here’s the good news of Christmas.  God wants to make a home right here (heart) and fill this home with light, with a light that illuminates true love and life, as John’s Gospel says, a light that will guide us into the world to shine and to share these same blessings.  This light is so powerful that no form of darkness or no form of death can overcome it.  That’s the blessing of Christmas.

At Christmas, from our perspective, we love to shine the spotlight on Jesus and say look, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  Today (Tonight) let us know that God shines the light of heaven on us and says, “Oh how I love you.”  “You are the reason for it all.”  Amen.

Author: Michael Roberts

I was recently appointed as the Director of ReStart Initiative, a new cabinet position to provide care and support for those who want to remain United Methodist and who are affected by disaffiliation. I am also a delegate to General Conference. Other appointments include 10 years as the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Conway, Arkansas. Playing guitar, reading/writing, and theological conversation are among my favorite pastimes. My wife, Deidre, is also an ordained United Methodist minister, and we have three wonderful adult children, and two grandchildren. I hold degrees from the University of Central Arkansas (BA), Duke University Divinity School (M.Div), and Southern Methodist University (D.Min).

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