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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A bi-weekly column, featuring one Silicon Valley Christian's (a)musings on life's journey

by Barbara Dahlgren


The Reason for the Season
Column for the weeks of April 1-15, 2009

We hear the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” at Christmastime a lot. We don’t usually think of it around Easter, but the same phrase could be used. Jesus is the reason for both seasons. Without Jesus neither Christmas nor Easter would have much meaning. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. He lived and died for us. Easter celebrates his resurrection from the dead. Is that worthy of celebration? I think so! He has risen! He lives! And because he lives, we shall also live.

Some get caught up in how to celebrate the Easter season. Should we observe Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Ash Wednesday, forty days of Lent, Maundy Thursday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, light the Paschal candle, or do vigils? Should we focus on the risen Christ and his ascension to heaven; then fifty days later celebrate Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given? Should we perform musical presentations, wear Easter bonnets, and eat chocolate bunny eggs? I guess that is left up to each individual. But when all is said and done, whatever we do should focus on Jesus.

The death and resurrection of Jesus is the central belief of the Christian faith. Our whole salvation hinges on the risen Christ. For if Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain (1 Cor. 15:14). God loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son to die for us (John 3:16). Jesus laid down his life for us willing (John 10:17-18). This kind of love is difficult to understand and sometimes harder to accept. His death took away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and offered us the free gift of salvation (John 3:17). Not only do we have salvation but Jesus’ resurrection gives us victory over death (1 Cor. 15:55).

It is interesting to note that many only attend church twice a year – at Christmas and Easter. Why would that be? Some might be seasonal Christians and think twice a year is enough to keep their names in the Book of Life. Others might be hedging their bets just in case this Jesus thing is true. Others go because their kids participate in pageants and such. Some may have a nostalgic feeling that traces back to traditions they remember from their youth. Many go because it keeps peace in the family. If they go these two times, it’s enough to keep everyone from badgering them to come the rest of the year.

On the other hand, maybe deep down inside their very beings they feel empty and secretly desire an intimate relationship with Jesus but are afraid to admit it. Churches might be making a huge error by not touching on this when they have these captive audiences. It’s true that Jesus is the reason for the season, but actually Jesus is the reason for life!

 

 

Be sure to visit this page often to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bdahlgren@wcgsouthbay.org.

 

 

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