Merry Christmas to You!
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year! For billions of Christians around the world, it is a time of reflection and celebration as we observe the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We come together in renewal and hope as we are reminded of God’s love for the world. For, what would Christmas be if not for Christ?
There was a time in America when Christmas was welcomed and received with reverence by religious and non-religious alike. Wishing our fellow citizens a “Merry Christmas” was natural and good, and in the spirit of this holy day we celebrated through acts of kindness and gift-giving.
Times have changed. America is more secular and the meaning of Christmas has become more superficial.
Today, the first association of this religious observance is not with the religious meaning of the holy day itself, but of its materialistic culmination and [empty] fulfillment. Gift-giving remains central to the theme of Christmas but we’ve lost sight of the type of gift-giving the season is about – the gift of love and time with loved ones, as God has given us.
It is consistent with the growing de-religioning of America over the past sixty years, that behavior or language that runs counter to the secular narrative be discouraged. Wishing someone a “Merry Christmas” is frowned upon because it might offend a person who does not share our beliefs. The preferred and acceptable greetings are “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” because “Tis’ the season” after all.
To suggest that a Christian, celebrating their own holiday, take heed or give pause to the celebratory language and good wishes they have for others, should alarm but not surprise us. It is part of the long-fought culture war in America that seeks to undermine religion and reduce its significance.
As G.K. Chesterton stated, “When people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing, they believe in everything”.
How true those words are!
There are countless of examples of tyrants, fascists, and communists who, over the last century, demonstrated the consequences on society of abandoning religion (though mostly by force). Citizens revered the State who was also their source of blessings (provider of basic needs). Religious celebrations and observances were replaced by State commemorations.
This Christmas, let’s remember how fickle and fleeting freedom is. How blessed we are to live in a country where we can celebrate our faith – in spite of secular efforts. The true meaning of Christmas lies within us and we must live our faith every day. Let’s be bold and celebrate, reflect and bring hope to those around us, and never forget the reason for the season, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Christmas is magical. And I wish the most magical and merriest of Christmases to you and your family.