Putting Christ In Christmas?

Call me cynical, but I find the call to put Christ in Christmas to be a suspect cause.

I do think there’s a legal issue at stake—the US Constitution guarantees the freedom to express and practice our religious beliefs, but that freedom is slowly being squeezed out of the public arena. The ban on such expression is just one more instance.

And yet, I can’t help but think too many Christians are willing to fall on the wrong sword.

Was Paul beaten because he wanted to put up a manger scene? Was Stephen stoned because he insisted on saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy holidays”?

I’m not suggesting we should roll over and go the way of the world just to get along. But I think we too often draw a line in the sand over the symbolic rather than the significant.

First of all, Christ should not be in Christmas only. Christ should be part of our lives, and I don’t think we should approach Christmas in a way that is particularly different from any other day as far as our witness for Christ is concerned. Hanging up a “He is the reason for the season” sign falls short, in my way of thinking, because He is the reason for EVERY season, for every breath I take—or He ought to be.

Then, too, becoming angry at and hateful toward those who disagree and who want to eliminate the religious from Christmas seems to contradict much of the Christmas message. Joy to the world, not anger. Peace on earth, not enmity. Of course, joy and peace come through knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior—no other way. But when Christians treat non-Christians as the enemy, as the ones against whom we are to fight, then we’re missing an opportunity to take them the message of redemption that first manifested to the world in God’s incarnation as a little baby.

If we can no longer put up a symbol of God come down, perhaps we need to think more creatively and see how we can show that message ourselves. When was the last time we served in a soup kitchen or made a blanket for a homeless person? Have we ever volunteered to teach English as a second language or tutor at our local public school . . . for free? Have we encouraged our church leaders to reach out to the needy in our community—families of those in prison, unmarried women who chose to give birth to their babies.

The point is, God did come down. And because of His redemption, each person who believes in Him and accepts the forgiveness He made available through Jesus, is now a Christmas tree ornament, a bright light announcing Emmanuel.

So do we need to fight to keep Christ in Christmas? As long as His followers live for Him, there’s no way anyone can keep Him out of Christmas, or any other day, for that matter.

This post is a revised version of an article that first appeared here in November, 2012.

Published in: on December 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm  Comments (8)  
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  1. Amen, and Amen! I wholeheartedly agree with this. Thank you for posting!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, I’m on board with this too, Becky. It’s rather like those who go on and on about how children can’t pray in school, yet never pray with them at home. Not to sound cynical myself, but sometimes I think people are glad things of faith are being taken from the public square as it gives justification for what is already absent in their private lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prayer in schools is another excellent example, Wally. We have so many more ways of showing the love of Christ than by these token elements. Thanks for adding to the discussion!


      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you posted this! Too many people are passionate about the wrong things. You’re right about actions’ speaking louder than words. Even the debate over the symbols only shows people how silly Christians are.
    So a manger scene isn’t allowed in the public square? Here’s a thought – put one in front of your house.
    Why would we expect non-believers to behave like believers? (And why would anyone want to be a believer if all they can see in believers is “the angry (and silly) Christian”?)

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Why would we expect non-believers to behave like believers?” Exactly! Thanks for this comment, seeking. You’ve hit the nail squarely where it needs to be hit.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca, you got me to write a post on this subject that I have often thought about but had not actually written about: “‘Tis the Season To Be … Angry?” It will be posted tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration! ☺


  4. Yes, I too wholeheartedly agree with you. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your post! I agree. Even here in Africa with less political-religious nonsens the Christian message is being watered down. Christmas is is part of our summer holiday and just another reason to have a party.


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