Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holiday Wars

This was in the purpose-driven Life devotional today.  Very well said.

Holiday Wars
by John Fischer

This Christmas, Christians have been caught in the throes of a war on semantics. We are seeing and hearing more “Happy Holidays” and less “Merry Christmases.” The beloved “Christmas tree” has turned into being a “Holiday tree." One television ad plays regularly with carolers singing: “We Wish You A Happy Holiday” to the tune of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”


One can surely see why a general mood of fighting back could prevail. I have seen numerous emails floating around with pictures of Christmas trees lamenting the secularization of Christmas. The underlying tone of these messages so far has been one of anger and partisanship, as if to say: “They can't take our Christmas away from us!”


It's an interesting question and one we need to consider seriously. If this a battle, on what level do we fight it? If someone wishes us “Happy Holidays,” do we respond with a hearty “Merry Christmas,” thus striking a blow for the kingdom of God?


I'm not so sure it's as important as all this. After all, it's Christ that is the issue, not Christmas. I don't even think Jesus cares very much about what we or anyone else call an evergreen with lights on it in December. Jesus never cared much about labels anyway; He always cared more about what was in the heart.


Here's how you put Christ back into Christmas: you celebrate Him as Lord of your life and ruler of your heart, and you love even those who want to take Christmas out of the Holiday equation. Jesus didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:17). He came to forgive sins -- mine… yours… everybody's. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Let's not let religious pride get in the way of the core message of the gospel. It's never been us against them; it's us for them. We mustn't forget that Jesus came to die for the very people who are trying to secularize our country.


In our zeal to keep Christ in Christmas, lets be careful not to alienate the very peoplewho need Him the most -- those who don't know Him. People are more likely to be set on the road to salvation by loving, caring believers who are secure in the hope of the real Christ living in their lives, and whose faith is brighter than any Christmas tree.


It's what's in your heart that really counts this Christmas. Let's not get so taken up with fighting to save a name that we forget to live out the reality of the hope of Christ to the world. If people end up encountering the real Christ of Christmas, it will matter little what we end up calling the holiday itself.

 

13 comments:

ajoleblon said...

Amen

ora4uk said...

It is good to keep Christ in Christmas....but my thoughts now turn to...what will happen to Valentine Day, Easter, Mother and Father's Day....when will it all end...first prayer taken from school....now we have Holidays....seems to me someone or something is wearing down on the "family values" ... and we wonder why kids today don't care for church, family activities, respect...???  I don't wonder anymore...I know....sorry for the soapbox....sheesh....Hugs...Ora

simwarford said...

Beautifully said!

bhbner2him said...

Oh, amen and amen!  Wonderfully said!  -  Barbara

mutualaide said...

Beautifully writte.

whitedove3622 said...

A great message!

lv2trnscrb said...

Amen to that!

Merry Christmas.

betty

sanforized6 said...

Right On!! rich

siennastarr said...

Amen to that!

jackie

vortexgirl said...

As I was walking through the crowded parking lot of Walmart today I said Merry Christmas to two strangers and they responded by smiling and returning the Merry Christmas.  It's only a big deal if we let it be.  
We know and will continue to say Merry Christmas and light our Christmas trees and think of the baby Jesus in the manger long ago.  
They win if we let them take this away from us so as long as we continue to do it the way we always have, no worries. :)
Dianne

sassydee50 said...

Merry Christmas!
http://journals.aol.com/SassyDee50/SassysWORD <<<got in a preachin' mood the other mornin'..heehee

sam7md2 said...

I just love John Fischer.   He always puts things in their proper perspective.  I receive his devotional every day too.  Thanks for sharing, Mo.  I missed this one somehow!.........Love, Sam

boodotte said...

We must always first remember to bless those who curse us, but make no mistake, our religious freedom has been on the chopping block for some time now.  I will STAND in every endeavor toward religious freedom, while blessing those who are sincere in their attempts to silence me behind church doors.  If I fail, I realize there's no hope to proclaim the gospel to those who do not know Him.  Scripture is clear that Jesus was sent to save us one and all.  It is also clear He stood against the grain of government in His time.  And it is crystal clear what our job is once we are saved:  Proclaim the Gospel.  That's impossible to do if we can't speak of Jesus outside of our places of worship.  I realize I'm preaching to the choir, but just had to acknowledge I couldn't wholly agree with Mr. Fischer's devotional.  Joyce