Tis the season, so I suppose I should probably have a Christmas themed post or two. Trouble is, I’m a self professed Grinch.
The other trouble is that I love and follow Jesus and I enjoy giving gifts to no end.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this time of year is a bit confusing for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love all the holiday spirit: the tree, the food, the gifts, and most of all the family and friends. I love the traditions and the general good-will mood.
The part I can’t stand about this time of year is the politics.
Everywhere you turn there are the debates over ‘Happy Holidays’ vs. ‘Merry Christmas,’ Hymns vs. Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, nativity scenes vs. Santa and his sleigh. It seems like you can’t make a move without stepping on someone’s toes.
It’s the season for political correctness to run rampant and offenses to run high.
We Christians are all but commanded by the church community to ‘Keep Christ in Christmas.’ But I was thinking about that phrase the other day and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really a very dumb phrase.
Think about it: the implication here is that if we Christians do not fight tooth and nail campaigning for our rights to our music, decorations, seasonal greetings, and shopping hours, that Jesus will be taken out of Christmas. This call to action is basically stating that non-Christians have the power over Jesus to ban Him from this time of year.
And it’s not just Christmas either. The Church is campaigning to keep Jesus in our schools, in our government buildings, in our currency, in our laws, etc. As though to say that if we were to step out of politics, Jesus would be ousted and denied re-entry.
But I’ve got news on the political fighting point: God is omnipresent.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.
This means that God is in every single government office, every school, every college lecture hall, every supermarket, etc. Furthermore, wherever there is a Christian, there can and will be Holy Spirit anointed prayer.
Even if there were no Christians for miles, God would still be there. His presence is not dependent on us. It’s not like He needs us to get Him into a building and the lack of Christians will keep Him from standing in the oval office and seeing that everything goes according to His perfect plan.
I really don’t think that we Christians are meant to be campaigning so hard on the political front (with the exception, of course, of those who God has called to political office). I don’t think it shows the love of Christ to get our noses bent out of shape when we hear ‘Happy Holidays.’
Those types of political concerns are for the world to worry about. There’s no mention of the apostles marching up and down the street with picket signs. They were too busy loving on people and preaching against sins. Not the sin of Santa and his reindeer, either.
I just worry that the church may have its priorities out of order and that we are fighting in battles that don’t concern us.
If someone wants to sing frosty the snowman and wish me Happy Holidays, then groovy. The far greater concern to me should be whether or not that person realizes how much Jesus loves them and how much they need Him. Because if they don’t have that, then they could celebrate Christmas in the Godliest manner possible and still lose their soul.
So this year, let’s not worry about keeping Jesus in Christmas, in government buildings, in schools, etc. He is already there, and I can assure you that no scheme of man can keep Jesus away from any place He wants to be.
Let’s focus instead on whether or not He is in our hearts and the hearts of those around us. Let’s just love on people this year, pray for those in power, and live lives that are glorifying to God.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.