It can be tiring and frustrating to live in this day and age where anything “Christmas” is offensive. Classic songs are being changed. “Merry Christmas” is being replaced with “Happy Holidays.” We purchase and decorate “Holiday trees.” Schools let their kids out for “winter break” rather than “Christmas break.” The list goes on and people are upset. When anti-Christmas is all the rage I’m not sure that outrage should be our response as Christians. Our call as believers is not to protest that others proclaim a Christ they do not know but to take on the responsibility of making Him known. Proclaiming Jesus is a response of those who believe and know the truth. Paul makes this point in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak…” If we want Christ in Christmas then relying on retail is the wrong answer. It is up to His representatives that He has placed across this earth to speak of His goodness, sing of His holiness, and share His forgiveness.
When we get frustrated by those who attempt to take Christ out of Christmas, I think it would do us well to remember the question that Paul asks in Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed?” We are looking for responses of praise from people who don’t even truly know Jesus. Yes, they may be able to recite the story of the nativity. Yes, they may understand who Jesus was but there is no relationship with Christ without trust. John tells us what was happening in Jerusalem towards the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in chapter 2 verses 23-24, “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men…” So people witnessed what Jesus was doing and even believed what He did as miraculous but Jesus didn’t entrust Himself to them. John explains the reason for this is because Jesus knew what was in them. Despite knowing facts about Jesus, the people still held on to their sin. They would not trust Jesus with their lives. They loved the excitement surrounding Jesus but didn’t want the relationship. This is true for many people today. They may love the excitement and festivities surrounding Jesus but care little about the Person it is all about. This is why to many it just isn’t a big deal to separate Christ from Christmas. They don’t believe which could be because they have not heard. They haven’t heard beyond the Christmas story to Calvary’s story. They know that Jesus came to earth but not what He had come to accomplish; the forgiveness of sins and eternal life for all who would turn from their sin and trust in Him. Paul continues in verse 14 of Romans 10, “And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? More than our protests and even our Christmas Greetings people need to hear the gospel.
Recently there was an uproar online over the choice of Starbuck’s not putting “Merry Christmas” or any image having to do with Christmas on their cups. They chose to go all red for the holiday season. Many saw this as a slap in the face against Christmas and Christianity. I don’t know what the intent of Starbuck’s was but I do know the truth is cups were never meant to represent Christ. That’s not what they were created for. They were created to hold hot (very costly) beverages. We, on the other hand, were created for this purpose. We shouldn’t try to pass off that responsibility to secular salesmen. We were created by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16). We were created that our good works may shine the light of His glory (Matt. 5:16). We were created to represent Him as ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). We were created that our words and deeds would herald his great name (Col. 3:17). We were created to lead others in His truth (Matt. 28:19-20). The responsibility to keep Christ in Christmas is ours so let’s do so by representing Him well and sharing His great love with those around us this Christmas season.
Celebrating Christ With You, Pastor Rudy