Winning the war on Christmas
Have you found yourself wondering if it’s okay to say, “Merry Christmas”? It’s a controversial greeting in many places. Some have characterized this as part of a “war on Christmas,” a war that includes vanishing nativities, more Santa and less Jesus, etc. What’s going on here?
There are voices in the Christian tradition who view many of these developments as a concerted attack against Christmas, complete with godless atheists who are upset at the mention of a deity. Is there really a war on Christmas?
I think so, but not in the way we might have been told. I think the war on Christmas is more stealthy than that, and we might have been inadvertently coopted into fighting for the enemy. The real war is a creeping tendency to see Christmas as primarily about gifts, goodies, and get-togethers. It’s the tidal wave that’s all about trees, traditions, and tacky lawn ornaments.
While those are not bad things, they often crowd out the real Christmas. They plunder from us the wonder of Christmas. They occupy the land that Christmas was supposed to invite us into. They place a tyrant on the throne instead of the good King. That’s the real war on Christmas, a war which we often don’t realize is taking place and may in fact be taking us prisoner.
Christmas is the shocking and scandalous appearance of God in human form. It’s the world-altering, life-changing reality that God visited us as one of us. It’s the breath-taking fulfillment of centuries of prophecies that told of God’s plan to begin to set the world right. And not just so we could have a day off every December, but so we could have every day “on” as it were. So we could live freely as we were designed to live. The little baby born in Bethlehem went on to show us exactly HOW to live. Every day.
So when you hear Christmas music on the radio, or at the mall, take a minute to reflect. Have you become a casualty of the war on Christmas? When you hear or repeat the greeting, “Merry Christmas,” ask yourself, “Am I really living in the reality of Christmas…of God in human form?”
And if someone wants to say, “Happy Holidays,” wish them well. After all, the origins of the phrase, “Merry Christmas” are rooted in an excessive, alcohol-infused celebration, whereas a holiday is a derivative of “holy day,” which Christmas most certainly is. 😊 For the win!