Many of my fellow Christians are fighting back to save Christmas from those who want to secularize the holiday.
One is compelled to say, “Yeah, that is right on!” But I am not so sure if that is the way to respond to nonbelievers. It ruins the credibility of the Christian.
Look at all of the time and effort spent by the media to show stories of how retailers will say “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas” while people suffer all over the world.
As the debate rages on, Americans with whatever belief, will pump billions into the U.S. economy between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That is probably enough to end world hunger forever. Yes, forever.
Imagine if everyone for one year skipped Christmas gifts and gave the billions of dollars to their churches or to other charitable organizations — instead of their own material gains known as “gifts” — what could be accomplished?
Most “Christians” would consider the thought outrageous. But wasn’t it Christ who told us to give up our possessions and follow him?
Did the writers of the four gospels consider Jesus’ birth to be one of the most significant events for Christians to acknowledge or celebrate as believers? Hardly. Mark and John do not even mention the event. Although Matthew and Luke write about it, neither gives the date of Christ’s birth. Finally, none of the other biblical writers say anything about commemorating Christ’s birth at all.
I am not suggesting that we “cancel” Christmas. We can celebrate the birth of our savior and use it constructively as holy and spiritual time to grow our faith. But we, as true Christians, should pick and choose our battles more wisely.
Instead of worrying about “offending” people and being “offended” by nonreligious people, we should follow the very golden rule that Christ told us: Love your neighbor like yourself.
Let the anti-religious folks do their thing. We can let it go and kill them with kindness and lead by example. I would rather do the work of Christ — like help the poor, the sick and be a friend to people in need — than banter about taking Christ out of Christmas — a very human event, not the will of God.
That is what Jesus would really want us to do. In fact, did Jesus Christ tell us to celebrate his birth? No! He left explicit instructions regarding how his followers are to commemorate his death (recorded in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26), and that is what our focus should be on. He died for us and our sins, not for a Christmas tree or stack of presents under it.
God left his present to us crucified on a tree, not under it.
By the way, there is the ultimate in irony with all of this “happy holidays” debate. The word “holiday” originates from the middle English word “holidai” from the Old English word “haligdeg.” The meaning? Holy day.
So, happy holidays — and Merry Christmas.