Yep, I just said it, and you are already preparing your statement to me that in order to keep Christ in Christmas, I should be saying “Merry Christmas.”
After reading a thought-provoking status update from my cousin’s wife (would she be my cousin-in-law? – These questions keep me awake at night), I was reminded that as usual this year, my email, twitter and facebook feeds will be full of all of the urgings to forward, like or retweet to “keep Christ in Christmas” and “It’s not ‘happy holidays’, it’s ‘merry CHRISTmas’!” messages.
Can we please have a Christmas that keeps the SPIRIT of Christ alive in all of us? The only people Jesus insulted were those who were pious and stuck in their religious perfection. I never read where He insulted other beliefs or even non-believers. He called religion scholars and pharisees “broods of vipers” for parting hairs over the particulars of sabbaths and what was eaten/drank. What would He say about those who rudely bark “NO IT’S MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!” to correct the cashier at the department store when they are just trying to wish you well on your holiday?
I understand, atheistic brainwashing is happening all over our society. We have become a post-Christian nation and most Christians don’t like that. I don’t like it either. But if we are genuinely going to be salt and light, what are we sharing? The dogmas of relatively recent traditions and beliefs, or are we going to share the Gospel and live in the grace that has been given to us? I promise you, the words “Merry Christmas” is not going to win someone to Christ if they don’t know Him, no matter what fake inspirational story you just read with an unrelated tear-jerking photo included.
Are we so wimpy in our faith that we can’t take someone trying to be kind to everyone who come through their store? Would you really not wish a Jew a happy Hanakkuh? Do you really think Christ is grieved if you didn’t know what another person celebrates so you just wish them a happy holiday, whatever they celebrate? Are we really so easily offended that a “happy holidays” is going to destroy our season?
I dare you, rather than rebuking someone for greeting you wrong this holiday, return their greeting with a warm, loving tone “and a happy holiday to you!” Shoot, if you have time, engage some real, caring conversation with them and see where that takes you. You might find an opportunity to share the whole reason why Christ came in the first place.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanakkuh (go tell your mammakuh..), Happy New Year and whatever other holidays I may have not been educated enough to know about to mention!