The war on Christmas is all the “rage” in some conservative and Christian circles. Their cry is to keep Christ in Christmas. Everybody knows that our cultural celebration of the holiday involves a lot of traditions that do not overtly express the origins and deepest meaning of the season. I am thinking of things like Christmas presents, Christmas cards, secular Christmas music, Christmas dinner, Christmas parties, and Christmas decorations.
Some of the traditions do, if fact, have their origins in the very first Christmas, like gift giving. Some have no connection to the real reason for the season, but are admirable, like families and friends getting together. Some can get out of control, like going in debt for the presents or holiday party excesses.
Why not just enjoy God’s good gifts and not go overboard on things?
Rather than a war on Christmas where people focus on those who offend their Christian sensibilities, let’s call a truce. Let’s be peacemakers. Let’s love our enemies. Let’s allow Christ to move out of Christmas and into our lives and relationships. Let’s stop insisting that we have a Christian culture and instead, live Christianly in the real world of a pluralistic culture, like Jesus did.
Let’s let Christ out of Christmas and into our lives to change our hearts toward people enabling us to love those we have considered enemies. It will take incredible love, just as it took incredible love for Christ to live on this fallen planet and to give up his life for us.
With his life he taught us how to love those everybody else disregarded. He taught us to stop trying to amass heavenly brownie points and simply accept his love of us as we are.
Letting Christ out of Christmas means loving our enemies, reaching out to the disenfranchised, accepting his love just as we are, and realizing he understands whatever this life throws at us because he was one of us.
May we let him out of Christmas and into our life!
Merry Christmas, my friends!