Reason for the Season?

In describing the modern trends of Holiday shopping in our culture, author Donald Deffner tells this story:

A television interviewer was walking streets of Tokyo at Christmas time. Much as in America, Christmas shopping is a big commercial success in Japan. The interviewer stopped one young woman on the sidewalk, and asked, "What is the meaning of Christmas?"

Laughing, she responded, "I don't know. Is that the day that Jesus died?"

There was some truth in her answer.

Too often, we have a tendency to celebrate Christmas as simply a season filled with Christmas trees, candy canes, and Santa Clause. We live in an age where Christmas is typically more about receiving gifts than it is about giving. Although there's nothing wrong with any of these activities, sometimes it's pretty easy to lose perspective on the real meaning of Christmas. History really hasn't changed a whole lot. 2000 years ago when Jesus was born, taxation was the news of the day. Contrary to popular imagination, there probably weren't hundreds of people gathered around the stable that night anticipating the birth of the long awaited Messiah. More than likely, it was just Mary and Joseph, that couple who had gotten to Bethlehem too late to find a room at the local hotel. The Jewish prophets and priests were looking for a conquering king of noble royalty, one who would defeat the empire and usher in an age of peace unlike any Israel had ever seen. And yet, Jesus wasn't found in a mansion, but in a manger. He came down from the throne to be crowned with thorns. The one who was born in a cradle was destined to die on a cross. Why? Because of love. One commentary puts it well: "Jesus paid a debt he didn't owe because we owed a debt we couldn't pay." In a season of presents and cards, there is a gift that should never be forgotten, there is a debt that has been paid, and there is a spirit of Christmas found not in one day, but over thousands of years and through all eternity, the story of a king who is coming to reign. Even Santa Clause can't beat that.

Barry E. Fields

All Things New is the preaching and teaching ministry of Barry E. Fields, pastor of Hawesville Baptist Church, a regional congregation on the Ohio River with two campuses in Kentucky (Hawesville) & Indiana (Crossroads Tell City) and membership in five counties.

Originally from Bowling Green, he grew up at Glendale Baptist Church under the ministry of Pastor Richard Oldham, competed for Western Kentucky University's nationally recognized speech and debate team before receiving a B.A. in History in 2007, completed an M.Div. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville in 2010, a Th.M. in 2012, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Homiletics and Church History at Southern, serving as Garrett Fellow to Dr. Hershael York from July 2012-December 2014. He has also taught theology and church history as an adjunct instructor for Campbellsville University. Before coming to his present ministry, he was pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Buffalo, Kentucky, for almost 5 years.

Active in denominational life, Barry currently serves on the Southern Baptist Convention's Young Leaders Advisory Council, a small group of pastors and ministry leaders seeking to engage the next generation in cooperative missions and ministry; recently completed a term on the SBC's Committee on Committees; currently represents the Blackford Breckinridge Baptist Association on the Kentucky Baptist Convention's Executive Mission Board; and has served on the KBC's Committee on Nominations, as well as several associational roles.

In his free time, he enjoys reading history and politics, listening to WKYU's Barren River Breakdown (Bluegrass and folk music) along with a variety of podcasts, as well as watching historical and political documentaries and the Andy Griffith show. Barry has a desire to help people fulfill the Great Commission through the Great Commandments: by showing the love of Christ, we can better share the love of Christ, and make disciples of all nations. And just so you know, he bleeds BLUE (UK Basketball)!