A better way to keep Christ in Christmas

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Do people really want to leave Christ out of Christmas?

I don’t think so. Because if we did, we’d be left with just ‘mas.’ Which can’t work.

  • We wish you a merry mas.
  • All I want for mas is my two front teeth.
  • We’d invite people to our mas Eve service.
  • We’d watch National Lampoon’s mas Vacation.

Nobody wants that. Not even pagans. Because we all know that whether you’re a pagan or a Christian, you watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at some point during this season.

With the myriad of distractions flying at us through the media, shopping, office parties, and traveling, we need reminders to keep Christ in Christmas, right? You’ve seen them on buttons, t-shirts-billboards, and yard signs.

CHRISTmas reminders

  • Jesus is the reason for the season.
  • Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas.
  • No Christ. No Christmas. Know Christ. Know Christmas.
  • Christmas is about Jesus from long ago, not Santa trudging through the snow.

Maybe I made that last one up. But I’m not convinced that these types of reminders work. I also think that when you make it a personal mission to tell everyone you see, “Merry CHRISTmas” (over-dramatizing the “Christ” part), you don’t necessarily help your cause.

In fact, that’s offensive to many people.

“Shouldn’t that make us, the Church, upset?” you say. “It is our holiday, after all, right?” This holiday should be all about Jesus, so we should expect that everyone, even those who don’t follow Jesus, to honor him as Savior and Lord during the Christmas season, right? Oh wait…never mind…forcing someone to recite something they don’t believe isn’t necessarily helpful. Expecting that they’ll honor Jesus during December even though they don’t believe He is King may not be the best way.

Can I offer a better way?

Better CHRISTmas reminders

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to show people love. Even people that don’t deserve it.

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to pursue peace with people because God, through Jesus, has pursued peace with us. 

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to live joyfully in the midst of difficulty. Because we have a Savior who endured our suffering.

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to live generously. Because we serve a King who has given us salvation.

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to live our lives as if the God of the world sent his Son to call us His own.

But maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe we should just keep wearing our buttons. 

 

 

Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lucyduggar Lucy Duggar

    love this. was just reading John 1, 2, and 3 this morning and you sound a lot like him. for some reason he kept harping on the “love one another” bit… so i’m thinking you’re on the right track ;) thanks for the reminder. this ex-pat needs all the help she can get ;)

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      That’s a strong encouragement. Thanks Lucy. And I need all the help I can get, too!

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    I tend to roll my eyes when people make a big deal out of saying Merry Christmas, not because I think we shouldn’t say it (I say it all the time), but because getting people to say Merry Christmas as opposed to Happy Holidays doesn’t change their hearts. Only living in a way that points people to Christ has any chance of seeing them change. 

    I’m being intentional about being more like Christ this Christmas season.

    • http://jackalopekid.com jackalopekid

      agreed Jason!

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      You’re so right, Jason. I’ll follow you in this!

  • http://thomasmarkzuniga.com TMZ

    What if we wore buttons saying all those things at the end of this post?

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      I call that a loophole. Good job, my button-wearing friend.

  • Darrell

    Thanks for sharing that with us, I find myself groaning every time I see another story about “the war against Christmas”. It’s truly what’s in one’s heart that matters, and “forcing” or strong-arming someone to say Merry Christmas doesn’t reflect well on what Christians should represent. I LOVE your list at the end, especially the parts about “show people love” and “pursue peace with people”. It’s our best way to represent Christ, who is our hope and our lifeline.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Yes…our “fight” against the “war on Christmas” should be living the life Christ has called us to live and the one he’s made possible by coming to earth. Thanks for chiming in, Darrell!

  • Mitleidmissionenintl

    The thing is that Christmas is no different than any other day. The thing most left out is proclaiming the Word of God. Only the Word can bring peace.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      I agree. The big difference, though, is that the birth of Jesus is on people’s mind during this season than during any other throughout the year. And Jesus’ birth has many implications for the Church which can be lived out in a unique way during the Christmas season.

  • http://www.arnyslight.wordpress.com Arnyslight

    again…i think happy holidays and merry CHRISTmas is offensive…

    so this year i’m going with …happy winter solstice!!!!

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Ha! That’s funny, Arny!

  • lettersmedia

    http://trumpetcallofgodonline.com/index.php5?title=Transgression
    12/16/05 From God The Father – A Letter Given to Timothy, For All Those Who Have Ears to Hear 

    Regarding the modern holidays of men

    Thus says The Lord God: This world has altogether become a house of harlots, who continually go out to commit fornication with the unclean and revel in their adulteries against God!… Altogether forsaking Him who I had sent to them, that they might turn from their ways and become completely clean! 

    None have harkened!…

    They remain shackled to this world and all its fornications of sin!… 

    Intermingling honor with dishonor, 

    Praise with blasphemy, 

    And sin with purity… 

    Woe, My children, you have all fallen

    Into the snare of the devil! 

    Can you not see, beloved? Open your eyes and read the writing set forth in stone, written by the hand of God!… The Everlasting Law etched with burning fire, blazing as a torch, so you may not stumble in this present darkness, which surrounds you.

    Behold, another Light have I sent to you… The Everlasting Light of the world! And He too do you men of vanities try to cover over, that you might shine in His place… You shall be utterly destroyed and thrown into eternal darkness, forever separated from life and your God! 

    Repent therefore! And give Me glory according to the New Covenant, by which you are saved. Call upon My name, by the name of Him who I have given My name. He is The One who shall deliver you from the great and terrible Day of The Lord… And He is The One who shall destroy you, if you will not come. For by Him were you made a vessel unto honor, yet you have all become vessels of dishonor, heaping to yourselves vanities and sin… You shall be crushed and thrown into the fire! 

    Now hear My words, all you proud blasphemers… 

    Shall you continue to corrupt love?…

    Christ Jesus, YahuShua The Lord and Savior, is Love Everlasting! 

    Give Him all honor and glory, forever and ever! For He has glorified My name by His sacrifice on the cross, and I have glorified Him by My name which stands forever. He is the ensign, the waving banner for all generations!… Call on His name, yea shout it to the heavens!

    He is your Shepherd, The True Vine, and you are His branches. And I shall surely prune every branch which grows in Him, that it may bear fruit in accordance with His likeness. Yet to all those who say, “Here I am, I also grow from The Vine”, who yet continue to cast off My Commandments and refuse My words spoken to this generation… 

    Thus says The Lord: You are all liars! A malignancy, growing where you should not! You shall be cut out and thrown into the fire! Behold, the wrath of The Lamb is coming!… Did you think I would stay silent during the time appointed?! I shall set the heavens on fire and shake the foundations of the Earth, and stir up the seas! For I am a jealous God and great in power!

    Peoples of the Earth, stop breaking My Commandments, and blaspheming My name and the name I have given My Son! You shall not associate His name with sin, nor shall you honor Him with pagan rituals and polluted traditions, lest I reject you as I had rejected the pagans who were before you!… His name shall only be for a song on your lips, a sweet-smelling savor. 

    I shall speak plainly, so those slow to understanding may hear, though their ears are dull and their eyes are dim: These modern holidays, Christmas, Easter and Halloween, are an abomination in the eyes of The Lord God Almighty! Therefore I shall destroy all pagan traditions, even every perverse holiday of men!… Behold! I shall wipe them from the face of the whole Earth, on that day! FOR I AM THE LORD, AND I AM COMING DOWN TO MAKE A SWIFT END!… And no more shall you break My Commandments, and revel in sin, in The Son’s name. 

    Behold! My countenance has turned against you! Says The Lord of Hosts.

    For you have blasphemed the name of Christ!…

     

    You and your detestable idols! Your false worship! 

    Your misuse of My name and The Christ’s!…

    Your vanities, your greed,

    Your envies, your lusts, 

    Your drunkenness, 

    Your gluttonous appetites…

     Your fornications!…

     

    Your false witnessing,

    Lying to your children…

    Your covetousness, your thefts…

     And your murders! Even causing many to destroy themselves!…

    BEHOLD! ALL YOU DO IS ADULTERY AGAINST YOUR GOD!  

    Have I not given you Holy Days, in which you were to honor My Son? Yet you forget them all, even the seventh day of each week, which you were to remember and keep holy. For I, The Lord, do not change… What do all these traditions of men have to do with Me?! And why do you them in The Son’s name?! Give the gift of His name, for by His name alone are you saved! There is no other! 

    Stop these vain babblings therefore! You speak these things in ignorance of the Truth! Shut your mouths! Cease from all this blasphemy!… Be silent before your God, and speak to Me in spirit.

    Know you not, that you have all become as the pagan and the heathen, by which all your holidays have their origins? Abomination! This world has seduced you, and the harlot has led you into temptation by her false witness!… Behold! She shall be left utterly desolate and naked! Her flesh shall be eaten and consumed by fire! She shall be destroyed under judgment! Crushed beneath the feet of The Holy One of Israel! Broken because of her iniquities!… And put to death because of her denial of the Truth, which she had replaced with the many cups of her fornications!… Thus she shall surely drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation!

    Thus says The Lord God: One Commandment broken are all Commandments broken; one sin, reveled in My name, are all sins accounted to you; one sin, repented in The Christ’s name, all are forgiven you. For I know your hearts, My children, and I know whether or not you have become fully converted in spirit… You can not lie to your God.

    Come to Me therefore, in all truth and supplication, 

    By Him who I had sent to you in Truth…

     

    Being The Truth Absolute, utterly void of darkness…

    HE IS THE LIGHT!…

    By Him shall you walk into life!

    HE IS THE WAY!…

     

    The only name under Heaven,

     By which you must be saved!… 

    Walk in Him, and you shall find Me.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      So…if I’m reading this correctly, you’re anti-Christmas? Just making sure I’m following.