Merry Christmas! It's the most wonderful time of the year, the happiest season of all. Have you ever taken a moment and thought about why?
It seems like every year the "war on Christmas" becomes more ridiculous. I remember the Christmas record Kirk Franklin released back in the 90's. I still enjoy listening to this project every year. One of the themes that found it's way into many of the songs was "putting Christ in Christmas." One song features lyrics that even explicitly state "they've taken Christ from Christmas." (I've yet to find this magical group of people known as "they," but maybe one day I'll earn the privilege of meeting them. "They" influence so much of what happens in the world.) This was my introduction to the war on Christmas.
This year a popular Internet evangelist caused an uproar on social media because Starbucks "removed" "Christmas" from their cups. Further proof that the war on Christmas is getting heated. Just ignore those pesky facts like Christmas isn't ever on the Starbucks cup, there are multiple Christmas Blend coffees for sale, and the assortment of other items including an advent calendar that stock the shelves. No. The cup must say Christmas or else Christians are being attacked.
What I have come to realize is that keeping Christ in Christmas doesn't mean shouting Jesus all day from the rooftops. It doesn't mean we can't enjoy carols about a drummer boy, or sit on Santa's lap and ask for toys. Keeping Christ in Christmas doesn't even mean that we must share the story of His birth in order to live out the message of His life. Keeping Christ in Christmas is actually continuing to make it a season of joy, love, and giving.
My older readers will understand this next comparison, young folks should Google it. Have you ever seen Beyoncé perform? The hair, the ensembles, the gyrations; you know, she resembles another performer by the name of Tina Turner. When Beyoncé begins a show she does not say, "Before I begin, I want you to know I studied Tina Turner in order to learn to perform like this. Tina is the reason for this concert." Of course, when asked about her influences she mentions Tina. Yet, every show Beyoncé gives is a tribute to the road Tina paved. The young girls that are imitating Beyoncé, whether they know it or not, are actually imitating Tina Turner. Similarly, when we live give love during the Christmas season, whether we know it or not, we are imitating Jesus.
we Christians should be asking is would we Christians rather people follow the example of Jesus, or preach about Him? Are we more concerned with who receives the credit than the work that is actually done? Is our image of Jesus so distorted that we believe Him to be so insecure that His title must appear in our holiday celebrations. (Christ is not Jesus' last name; it is the title for who He is.) Spelling Christmas Xmas is not taking Christ out of the season anymore than texting LOL is taking the laughter out of a funny joke.
When I see Christmas I see Jesus. I believe Christmas would be His most favorite time of the year. He would have adored the beautiful decorations, gift giving, all of the wonderful music, and families spending time together. Having a good time, and all of the other Christmas sentiments are all expressions of who Jesus is. Let's not forget His first recorded miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding feast. Our Christmas season was how Jesus lived His entire life.
Am I suggesting that we as Christians intentionally avoid any references to Jesus during our Christmas celebrations? Of course, not! We should celebrate the baby born in a manger who received frankincense, gold, and myrrh, and whose life was the ultimate revealing of the Creator of the Universe.
Jesus truly is the reason for the season. The spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Jesus. He is all things festive. He is all things good. He is all things love.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Merry Christmas!