Keeping Christ in Christmas
One Sunday morning, my wife and I were driving to church when we passed a small church. They were advertising their Christmas services on an outdoor sign with removable acrylic letters. It read: “Xmas Services – Sunday – 10:30 AM.” We were both horrified that a church would leave out the name of Christ on their sign. When we came home later that afternoon, we again passed the same church, but the sign had been changed to read: Christmas Services – Sun – 10:30.” Certainly, the sign man had limited space on the sign to get in his message. But leaving out “Christ” probably forced him into a tense meeting with the Director of the Women’s Ministries! Besides, smart people can always figure out how to make room for Christ.
Last week, while Christmas shopping at a big box store, they were playing holiday music over their sound system. Most of the songs never even mention Christmas like “Let it snow,” “The Wassail Song,” “Jingle Bells,” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” It seems that removing Christ from Christmas is almost complete. But the song that really upset me was the traditional carol, “What Child is This?” I was humming along until I realized that each time it came to the word Christ, they had somehow muffled it with horns or bells!
Then there is the box of holiday cards sold through Amazon that has a tree on the front with the word “Merry.” Inside it is blank! Merry WHAT! I guess, in the name of religious tolerance, we can fill in the blank with Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, Soyal, Id al-Adha, Saturnalia, or Krismas. Dear Jesus, come quickly!
Have you seen the controversial Hipster Nativity scene being sold online? It features Joseph with a pony tail and taking a selfie with his iPhone. Mary wears a low-cut blouse and holds a latte while making the victory sign with her right hand. Three Magi ride Segway’s and have Amazon gift boxes under their arms. The Baby Jesus is tightly wrapped in white linen sheets, and laying in a crude manger. At best, it is sacrilegious. At worst, well, you can be the judge. The point is, Christmas remains under attack by unbelievers and reprobates.
As we read in 1 John 2:16 NLT – “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.”
It appears that the keepers of the true story of Christmas are those in the Church. Increasingly, Christians had better step up and tell the truth about the Nativity or it will become a lost story. Hopefully, your church still reads the passages in Luke that detail the Birth of Christ, and host live nativity scenes. How else will the children know?
The world is telling a godless X-mas story. They are consumed with trees, lights, and product sales. They present a secular holiday for a secular crowd. They have drawn a line in the sand. They are challenging Christians to hush up and stop saying “Merry Christmas.” What about you? Which side are you on? How do you express your opinion?
At our house, when we decorate for Christmas, I place a lighted sign in my front yard that says, “Keep Christ In Christmas.” It is a public statement for Christ among the elves, sleighs, and air-blown inflatables. However, each morning, I peek out of my window to see if it is still there!
Before you call me a wild-eyed, unwashed fanatic, you should know that I still eat Christmas cookies, drink Wassail, and watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special. It’s still OK to have fun, right?