Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas

So, I have been thinking alot about Christmas this year. I have been listening to the protests about companies refusing to use the word Christmas in their advertising. It has been said that some companies have even told employees that saying Merry Christmas to customers would be grounds for termination. Companies say the reason for using Happy Holidays in lieu of Merry Christmas is so they won't offend those who don't believe in or celebrate Christmas. Well, I have to admit, I was offended by their exclusion of Christmas. I mean, all of my life I have seen ads for Pre-Christmas sales and post-Christmas sales and Christmas one day sales. Now, it's Happy Holidays?... give me a break. But, the more I began to meditate on Christmas and study its origins and the REAL Christmas story of the Birth of Christ, I began to wonder what it was that I was offended about. I mean what is Christmas? What does it mean?

I did a little research on the origin of Christmas as we celebrate it today. Many of the references I found explained how Christians took a pagan festivity and adapted it to represent their Christian culture and beliefs. Perhaps much of this is true or, perhaps pagan cultures adapted elements of the story of the birth of Christ into their rituals. I am not sure how it all came about but let me explain it the way I see it.

First of all, no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to find one biblical reference to the word "Christmas". I have looked in several versions, King James, NIV, NASB, NKJV, etc., there is no mention of the word Christmas; no mention of holiday trees, Christmas trees, winter festival; no seasons greetings, happy holidays or Merry Christmas. So, why was I so offended by others not using the word Christmas?

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my Jesus and I love the joy and festive atmosphere the Christmas season brings. I believe in celebrating Christmas wholeheartedly. But, let me tell you what I did find in my studies.

I found a Saviour, a baby, innocence, love, peace, joy, excitement, fear, adoration, honor, respect, awe, courage; I could probably go on with this list forever so, let me sum it up. I found JESUS!!! You see the shepherds didn't run out and buy gifts for each other and all their family and friends. The wise men didn't have a party. They immediately set out on a journey to pay homage to the King of the World, King Jesus. This wasn't a birthday celebration, it was a celebration of a promise fulfilled. In fact, I believe the only time the scriptures speak of the actual birth of Jesus is when he was born.

Is this a step toward removing Christ from our lives? Probably. Is society trying to remove Christ from our daily ministrations? Absolutely!! But, the mere absence of the word Christmas shouldn't be our focus. Our focus should be on Jesus. We should be more worried about whether people see Christ in us. Mas in Spanish means more. If you break down the word Christmas, Christ mas, Christ more; that's what people should see in us as Christians, More of Christ in us. Or do they see us blow up in anger
at how slow the cashier is as we stand in the line at Wal-Mart? In Matthew 12:33, Jesus says, "...the tree is known by its fruit." What kind of fruit are you known for? As Christians, we don't need special days or seasons to remember Jesus. We should celebrate Him all year long. So, stop being offended and start

LIVING JESUS!

Merry Christmas to all and May God bless you all now and into the New Year!!

Brad


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2 comments:

dchammer said...

I find it quite entertaining when I hear someone say "Don't Say Merry Christmas" you might offend someone. Say Happy Holidays instead, but when you look at the "Holidays" it breaks down as Holy Days and what was the holiest of days? The Bithday of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So next time someone says "Happy Holidays" Tell them thank you but you are going to a Birthday party for Jesus. Watch them squirm it is quite entertaining!

Brad Walker said...

Excellent point!! I'll have to remember that the next time I'm in Target or Wal-Mart. That should be worth a ton of laughs.

Brad