This article first appeared in The World Invader: The Global Outreach Developments Int’l Newsletter, Issue 16, December 2004. You can read the whole edition here.
For the most part, there are two times a year when just about everyone is going to put on something nice, perhaps something red or green, or even pastel, and head out with the family to a celebration at church. Maybe there will be a drama production, or a somewhat more traditional reading or ceremony in remembrance of the Christ.
Not only is it the event of the day, but it becomes the theme of a season. Two times a year our stores dedicate aisles to the festive “necessities” that commemorate memories of the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ; Christmas and Easter.
As we are now in the midst of the Christmas season, we see how much it affects our entire society. The kids are out of school, it’s time for small family vacations, preparations to travel to grandma’s house, homes are decorated, and checkbooks indicate the amount of time spent at the mall. This time to remember the birth of Jesus has become an almost global event as the tradition is even being passed around to other countries. (In how much of this do we actually think about Jesus?)
We love to celebrate…
With the now recent controversy over such “religious” holidays, we’re seeing Christmas take on a different dimension as you can now be greeted by an attendant at Macy’s with “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” Our public school children are not allowed to mention Christmas because when they do so, they can be suspended, or given detention.
You may ask yourself, “What is our world coming to?” Brothers and sisters, it’s okay! This is supposed to happen. You can’t stop it. As the body of Christ, let’s not waste our time trying to stop such “injustice!” This is what the body of Christ needs.
A sinner will sin. That is what they do. Do not expect any different behavior from them, this is their nature. It’s okay, until they have come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, this is the kind of behavior they will have. That should be obvious, but we don’t always see clearly.
As people who are in Christ, let’s not fight for some religious holiday. After all, seriously isn’t that what it has become? Did God inaugurate it? Is it really such a travesty that our kids can’t say “Merry Christmas”? Let’s think for a moment…
Two times a year, Easter and Christmas … Death/Resurrection and Birth … Celebrations, festivities, colored eggs, bunnies, pine trees, lights, presents and candy…
We love to celebrate…
Let’s not be religious! If we can’t say “Merry Christmas,” let’s say “Jesus loves you!” Do we really think there is an evangelical connotation to the words Merry Christmas? Besides, why do we only focus on the birth and the death/resurrection? They were definitely very important, there is no doubt about that, but it should strike you curious that these are the times when Jesus barely spoke anything. His words were none at his birth and few at his death and resurrection, in fact, these times were only a few hours.
How about we learn to celebrate His life! The time in between the events that we celebrate here… He’s not a baby anymore, and He’s not dead anymore! He’s alive and He lived a beautiful life here on the earth, a life that we could look to for an example. But who looks to that? Who celebrates that? Two times a year? Let’s learn to celebrate the life of Christ, the day to day that He lived here on earth and that He is now giving to us. Let them end our religious ceremonies, they can’t end our living faith in the only God; Jesus Christ.
We love to celebrate!