Christmas is a Celebration of Christ
Over the past decade or more there has been a steady drive towards minimizing the relevance of God in our society. During the Christmas season this is even more pronounced as we are encouraged to say “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” in place of “Merry Christmas” or to replace the Christ in CHRISTmas altogether with the letter X. All throughout our society we can observe the marginalization of all things Christian in a so-called attempt to respect all religious groups and cultures.
However, if this is really the motive then why, as an example, are we not asking those of the Jewish faith to refrain from saying Happy Hanukkah? No, it is only Christmas and all Christian symbols associated with it that others find offensive. There has actually been litigation in public courts attempting to prevent community and government organizations from displaying the nativity scene in public places. All the while other symbols, like the Jewish menorah and the Islam crescent moon, are readily accepted.
As Christians we must first be aware and then take a stand on this subtle assault on our faith. Christmas is about Christ. It has always been and always will be a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and all that His birth signifies for humankind. Trying to change Christmas into something other than what it was intended to be is a huge infringement on the religious freedoms of all those who identify with the cross and the atoning work of salvation it symbolizes in our lives. We celebrate Jesus and as Christians we must be bold about it not allowing cultural pressures to force us into de-emphasizing or denying the cornerstone of our faith.
There is power in the name of Jesus and the Word of God is still powerful enough to convict and change the hearts of men. This is what we must believe and declare. Just as the angels brought good tidings to the shepherds in the field over 2000 years ago, we too must bring good tidings to our neighborhoods, offices, family and community shouting from every mountaintop the words of the beloved Christmas hymn “Joy to the world, The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King…”
I pray you have a very Merry CHRISTmas, celebrating JESUS with those you love the most.
Bishop E.V. Reeves