Thursday, December 15, 2011

War on Christmas?

Christmas is a magical time of...

I love the tradition of Santa. And I love Jesus. Yep, I get to love them both. So I'm a little annoyed by the whole "war on Christmas" thing. This is a recent development, but it bothers me all the same.

  • Will our celebrations look any different if it's called "Holiday" instead of "Christmas"?
  • Will Christ lose any of His power if nativity scenes & star tree toppers are 86ed?
  • Is Santa really stealing Jesus' thunder? (You can watch a completely inappropriate video by the deep theologians on South Park with super offensive language here. Seriously, don't let the kids hear this stuff.)

As followers of Christ, we've become known for what we're against instead of who we're for.

"I've never met someone who said, "I gave my life to Christ after someone yelled at me for using the phrase 'Happy Holidays'""-Jon Acuff
One thing I love about living in America is the freedom I have to celebrate whatever holidays I want, pretty much any way I want to. Loving my neighbor as myself means extending that same freedom, even if their ways of celebrating are different from how I roll.

I love that Santa is a figure of hope and joy. And since Christmas is being celebrated by more people who don't follow Christ than those that do, I'm not at all upset that "Christmas" is being replaced by "Holiday". It won't change how I celebrate the birth of Christ. More importantly, it won't change who Christ is.

So when I found this large red box taking up my facebook feed, I thought to myself, "Wow. How is that demonstrating Christ's love?"

The Almighty God doesn't need me to defend Him.
But He does call us to become more like Him, and that big red box doesn't look like Jesus to me.

He loved. He humbled Himself. He served.
He was born in a stinky barn, partied with sinners, washed his friend's feet, and allowed Himself to be murdered by the same people He was dying to save.

Then this caught my eye:

"Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I wonder if the best thing that could happen to this country is for Christ to be taken out of Christmas—for Advent to be made distinct from all the consumerism of the holidays and for the name of Christ to be invoked in the context of
      shocking forgiveness,
                   radical hospitality, and
                               logic-defying LOVE. 
The Incarnation survived the Roman Empire, not because it was common but because it was strange, not because it was forced on people but because it captivated people."
-Rachel Held Evans (I highly recommend reading her whole post here)

I wonder what would happen if we took a humble posture and focused on Christ instead of fighting an entire culture. I wonder what would happen if we demonstrated Christ's love for people the way He commanded us to instead of picking a fight that has already been won.

Does this sound like giving up to you? 
'Cause the war has already been won. "But take heart! I have overcome the world."

“Christmas survived the Roman Empire, I think it can handle the renaming of the Tulsa parade.” -Jon Stewart (watch the whole surprisingly interesting video here)