An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20–21, NIV 1984).
Jesus answered [Pilate], “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37, NIV 1984).
My Musings – You have heard it said, and have probably repeated it yourself, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” It is often used as a rebuttal to the more secularized “Season’s Greetings” that is used instead of “Merry Christmas.” I am not offended when the culture prefers “Season’s Greetings.” I would not expect those who do not proclaim Jesus as King to feel like they must say “Merry Christmas.” And that is certainly not how I want to engage with the lost.
The more important engagement is not the reason for the season of His birth, but the reason He “was born” and the reason He “came into the world” in the first place. “To testify to the truth.” And that truth is that He came to “save His people from their sins.”
Now it is very doubtful that Joseph understood what saving His people would entail. Jesus’ disciples did not understand even though He had told them. And here Jesus was, standing before Pilate on trial for His life. But for more than His life. For the eternal destiny of mankind. As He stood there, Jesus knew that the “reason [He] was born, and for this [He] came into the world” was to die for His people. It was the only way to “save his people from their sins.” And that’s “the truth” we should want people to know and accept.
My Advice – Fighting the world over which greeting to use is not going to get them any closer to the “side of truth.” It may even prevent them from listening to Him. Let’s make sure we are fighting the right battle.