Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?


I wanted to share some thoughts about Christmas and the Savior who was born to die and rise again. As Christmas approaches there is much in the news, as in previous years, about "Christmas" being removed from company advertisements, school programs and public events in favor of the politically correct "Happy Holidays". More people are taking a stand to say "Merry Christmas" in the face of what some have called "persecution".

I would submit that the only thing sadder than Christ being removed from Christmas in the market place is when Christ is removed from being the focus of His people and His church. Could the move by Christians to invest so much energy and resources to protect Christmas actually have very little to do with the Christ of that Christmas? Could it be the focus to stand up for the phrase "Merry Christmas" is distracting from the real call to share the Gospel and Christ Himself?

Corporations, whether they use Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas, are almost exclusively about money. Even when they use Christmas it is a "business" decision based on money and not a spiritual one. If there was a guarantee that end-of-year revenue would increase by 25% for businesses that adopted a full out “Merry Christmas” marketing approach you can be assured that stores would trip over themselves to put “Merry Christmas” over every square inch of their facility. Money talks. The world listens. Even if it is Christian money. As long as it is money then the world will build a business plan to get it.

It should then be clear that the battle of “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” sales displays has little to nothing to do with Jesus at the core. Should we battle for Christmas? Yes! But it is about something much bigger than empty words, marketing plans, gifts under a tree and debt that comes due in January. In fact it should be about something totally different. Something eternally better.

Therefore give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. What belongs to Caesar is the "business" of Christmas and traditions of men. What belongs to God is the Christmas that is about people who are lost in sin and without a Savior and His mercy to send His Son as that Savior. It is about Jesus who was born to die and redeem us from His wrath when we least deserved it. It is about the Gospel.

On the other side of eternity what will hold value more? Having the word "Christmas" added back into the catalog of a major retailer or having the true Christ of Christmas proclaimed to the lost and having Him save them from their sin and His wrath based entirely on His grace and mercy?
“Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”? That is not the important question. Jesus routinely ignored such questions to deal with what truly mattered. Imagine Jesus walking the earth today and what His focus would be. What would being about His Father's business look like? Would it be going after the retailers marketing plan or to compassionately go after their hearts and the hearts of the lost calling them to repentance? As we walk in the steps of Jesus what is it that we will do? Will we share the Gospel? Or spend time grumbling about trying to save Christmas traditions that are being taken from us that Jesus has no interest in?

Go and share the words of life with a dying world while there is still time. Merry Christmas.



Alesia said...

Amen & Amen.
Great post!!!