Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oh Noes! Christmas is Under Some Unspecified Attack!

The bone I am chewing on tonight is this perception that Christmas is under attack in some way.

Really? I mean, have you ever been prevented from buying toys for the kids, putting up Christmas lights on your home, singing Christmas Carols, or wishing people a Merry Christmas? When was the last time someone spied through your window, looking for a tree to burn or a Nativity set to smash? I've never seen it.

Not once, in my entire life, have I needed to celebrate the Lord's birth in secret. Isn't that wonderful. I am so privileged. I've never even heard of a government sponsored Bible burning, or contemporary Americans Christians being thrown to the lions by a dictator on American soil (maybe that will change this year, but I highly doubt it).

The phrase "Happy Holidays" seems to be raising some extra ire this year. Why? The Holiday Season has three HUGE holidays, back to back, that nearly every Christian in the US celebrates. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Might it be possible that some people are saying "Happy Holidays" in order to cover their bases should they not contact you again between the holidays?

Then of course is the blanket politically correct statement that is intended when it comes from government and large businesses. By law the government may not endorse Christianity (although the individual members may offer Christmas greetings at their discretion), and businesses hurt their bottom line when people think they are promoting one faith above another. However, does any true Christian, from the bottom of his heart, think Christmas can not happen without a government endorsement, or (to quote Dr. Suess) "Christmas comes from a store"?

There seems to be this fear that if people stop saying "Merry Christmas", that the meaning will be lost. This is untrue to the point of absurd. Christmas is only lost when we really forget what it's about. 

The point of the holiday is not to say the name correctly or to be smiled upon by government and businesses; and even the celebration of the birth of Christ is only a part of what Christmas commemorates. The true message of Christmas is contained in the message from the angels to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (emphasis added).
(New Testament | Luke 2:10–14)

Remember, going to battle to defend against some perceived attack on Christmas will not preserve the true meaning of the holiday. If anything, it will only distract from God's true message of redemption, peace, and goodwill.

Tell you what, no matter which holiday greeting you get, remember that the intent was to express goodwill, not attack your faith. Do return goodness for goodness and say, Merry Christmas, if that's what you celebrate. I doubt that person will take offense; and even if they do return with a "bah-humbug", you can still wish that person a Happy New Year, or even a Good Afternoon.

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