Be Christ this Christmas

“A New Commandment I give to you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

The call to “Keep Christ in Christmas” is a cry that grows from the perceived “War on Christmas.” But the War. . . is not new, though it has evolved over the years.

Many look to our Puritan roots as a time when Christian Values were held in high esteem, that time in our history is seen by some as the pinnacle of our existence as a Christian nation. But did you know that during the Puritan period, celebrating Christmas was against the law? In fact, A town crier walked through the streets on Christmas Eve, yelling “No Christmas! No Christmas!” Traditional Christmas foods were banned — no mince pies, and definitely no pudding. Stores were forced to stay open all day on Dec. 25, and children were required to go to school. Any violations of the ban on Christmas were a criminal offense. Now, that is a war on Christmas!!! And it was sponsored by our Puritan forefathers!

The War itself seems to erupt whenever there is massive social upheaval. During the Civil War the Myth of Santa was used by both sides to propagate their positions. Henry Ford called the secularization of Christmas a Jewish conspiracy. The John Birch Society in the 50’s declared that winter decorations were part of Communist plot to undermine Christian faith. And today even the color to the coffee cups at WaWa or Starbucks is fodder for the war.

Now I certainly believe that Jesus is the center of a Christian’s celebration of Christmas, BUT, I would suggest it is only Christians who can be expected to keep Christ as the center.

Look, businesses that are built upon the principles of profit cannot be expected to make Christ the center of Christmas, Jesus opposed greed.

Governments which rule through power and intimidation cannot be expected to keep Christ in the center Christmas, Jesus taught service and peace.

Your neighbors who live for themselves cannot be expected to keep Christ in the center of Christmas, Jesus insisted that we live for others.

Only followers of Jesus can keep Christ in the center of Christmas.
We do cannot do that by picketing “holiday” trees.
We cannot do it by defacing “Merry Xmas” signs.
We cannot do it by SHOUTING OUR DISPLEASURE with other’s words or celebrations.

However, as followers of Jesus we can keep Christ in the center of Christmas by being Christ this Christmas.

So, if someone greets you with “Happy Holidays” love them, they need hope in the dark days of the winter.

If someone invites you to a “Holiday Party” go to it and celebrate the friendship that you find, get to know some people who need Jesus, and be Christ through your love.

If someone wishes you Happy Chanukah, reply with a blessing like, “May the light of God shine in your heart.”

In Short, to keep Christ in Christmas, love as He loved, care as He cared and serve as he served.

In other words, To Keep Christ in Christmas. . . BE Christ this Christmas.

~ Pastor Doug Stratton