One day while visiting with friends, I made a comment which silenced all conversation. My comment, “If we took “Christ” out of Christmas, Christmas for the most part would continue”. Before you get out your pen to write me or delete my blog as heresy let me explain. No I’m not advocating we take Christ out of Christmas; quite the contrary.
I’ve been thinking a lot on Christmas and the “Holiday Season“. Why the tug of war over the words “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings”. Or, the battle over nativity displays, crosses, or anything having to do with the Christian faith; specifically, Jesus? There appears to be no angst over Santa and his reindeer; only over Jesus. Yet, it’s not Santa’s birth we celebrate. I’ve yet to hear the idea of doing away with the holiday, only the removal of Jesus from the celebration. Hence my comment.
I based my comment on the assumption the majority of people, in the United States, were non-believers, non-Christians, who do not believe in Jesus, the Bible or what it represents. My assumption appears to be in error. I did a little statistical research. In a survey, done by the Pew Research Center, 70.6% of the American population considered themselves Christian in 2014.
Do these statistics change my opinion! If anything the statistics strengthen my position. If 70 percent of Americans believe in Jesus, then why are the non-believers appearing to win many of the battles over Christmas nativity displays, Christmas greetings and the like? Is the population represented by these statistics oblivious to what is taking place, or do they simply not care? I believe it’s the later. Apathy has set in and for the most part believers simply don’t see it as “that big a deal”. We’ve bought into the secular Christmas. We bought into Santa Claus, gatherings centered around food, friends and family, and holiday songs such as Here Comes Santa Claus, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire and Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer. We’ve bought into holiday parades of a secular nature, lights and snow globe decorations of all sorts, along with all the trimmings that accompany Christmas. Jesus has become simply a part of the Celebration, not the core.
Christmas is changing as we know it. The manger and all it represents will soon disappear from the decor. The name of the holiday will change of course. After all we won’t be able to call it Christmas, as Christ and his message won’t be at the core. We’ll call it something like Winter Festival or Santa Day, or Jolly Holiday or ….
Another statistic shows an average drop, of a little more than 1 percent per year in Christian believers. There’s something brewing my friends. If we who believe in Jesus, the person whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas, is important to us, we best wake up. We need to wrap-up our apathy and toss it in the garbage. We need to do more than simply say, “Merry Christmas”, more than placing a Manger or Nativity in our yard, and more than singing Away in a Manger rather than Jingle Bells. That’s a start. Making those changes, however, won’t change hearts. They’ll not keep people from falling away or losing hope. It’s Jesus being lived out in the hearts of believers which will make a difference. We need to do more, much more. I need to do more! We need to live our lives for Jesus; really live it out! We need to give the gift of Jesus, by introducing and sharing him with others. We need to encourage each other in the journey. We need to stop being complacent and start being active in living out our faith; in word and actions. If we don’t the words, “We could remove Christ from Christmas and still have Christmas”, won’t just be words… they’ll be reality.
Until next time,